At least 41 million people affected in floods in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, UN says

While the world’s attention has been on the devastation from Hurricane Harvey in Texas (US), devastatingng floods have wreaked ing havoc in South Asia.

The worst flooding to hit South Asia in years has killed more than 1,200 people and affected more than 40 million people. Many trains and flights were delayed or canceled, marooning countless people.

According to the United Nations, at least 41 million people in India, Bangladesh and Nepal have been directly affected by flooding and landslides resulting from the monsoon rains, which usually begin in June and last until September.

Infrastructure such as roads, bridges, railways and airports have been damaged by the floods, sometimes leaving entire areas inaccessible and vast swathes of farmland have been washed away.

According to the latest figures form the UN, more than 32 million people have been affected in India, 6.9 million in Bangladesh and 1.7 million in Nepal, bringing the total to around 41 million people.

Vast areas of land across all three countries are underwater, according to the Red Cross. “Rainwater from the Himalayas is travelling down through Nepal’s lower-lying areas, through swollen rivers in north-east India and eventually through the floodplains of Bangladesh,” it said in a statement.

In Nepal, thousands of homes have been destroyed and dozens of people swept away. “This is the severest flooding in a number of years,” Francis Markus, a spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said.

India has also suffered immensely. Floods have swept across the states of Assam, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and other areas. India’s financial hub Mumbai was under water on Wednesday following exceptionally heavy rainfall which overwhelmed the city’s drainage infrastructure.

The storm reached Pakistan on Thursday, lashing the port city of Karachi, where at least 11 people have died, and streets have been submerged by water.