Here are few excerpts from the news centers around the globe.

Bangladesh Flood Damage May Rise to $ 7 Billion
VOA News
29 Jul 2004, 17:06 UTC

Bangladesh says the damage caused by flooding this month may total as much seven billion dollars. Floods across the nation have already claimed the lives of more than 450 people.
Flood and Disaster Management Minister Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf says his country will not be able to carry out relief operations on its own if the floods continue next week.

Reports from Dhaka say the flood situation in the capital and surrounding districts has further deteriorated. The situation has improved slightly in the rest of the country.

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia made an appeal for international aid on Wednesday.

Death Toll in South Asia Floods Crosses 1,100 Mark
VOA News
27 Jul 2004, 12:57 UTC

At least 100 more people are being reported killed in Bangladesh floods, taking the death toll from three weeks of devastation to almost 400 in the country, and over 1,100 in South Asia.
Bangladeshi officials say new deaths were reported from across the country as a result of drowning, disease, snakebites and house collapses.

About two-thirds of the low-lying nation is under water in the worst floods in 15 years. The capital, Dhaka, is among the worst-hit areas. In India, flooding has killed 635 people, including about 450 in the eastern state of Bihar. The total death toll in neighboring Nepal is more than 85.

Bangladesh flood crisis worsens
Tuesday, 27 July, 2004, 11:05 GMT 12:05 UK

The UN has warned of a humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh where floods have claimed more than 300 lives.
The Bangladesh state news agency said the deaths were the result of drowning, disease and snakebite.

High tides in the Bay of Bengal are a major concern, says the UN World Food Programme, as they could stop flood waters flowing into the sea.

Officials say more than two-thirds of Bangladesh is inundated. Monsoon floods also continue to hit parts of India.

About 40% of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, is under water and in places the sewage system has failed, sending foetid water flowing into the streets.

Vast swathes of the country are under water, with roads and railways washed away and crops devastated - raising the prospect of food shortages if floods prevent a second sowing.

Another 58 deaths were reported on Monday.

The government is still refusing to call for international help saying its own relief efforts are enough, but several large NGOs have said it should now reconsider.

And a UN spokesman warned the worst may be yet to come, as rising tides in the Bay of Bengal in early August "would considerably limit the outflow of flood waters into the sea".

He said the WFP had made plans to distribute 3,000 tons of rice to flood victims.

Disease fears

Dozens of medical teams are working in Dhaka to ward off the threat of disease with the city's sewage system broken down.

"Conditions are getting worse every day. The water is rising and bringing in more filth," Abu Kalam is quoted as saying by Reuters.

"We are living in an open sewer."

The BBC's Roland Buerk in Dhaka says the poor are worst affected, as slum housing has been constructed in the capital's low-lying areas.

In some parts of the city, he says, boats are now the only way to get about.

The floods have sown devastation in low-lying coastal regions of South Asia.

Receding waters in eastern India's Bihar state have revealed more than 100 drowned bodies, pushing the total toll from floods in the region above 1,000.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Bihar on Tuesday and toured four flood-affected districts.

He said he would send a federal team to Bihar next week to assess the damage caused by the floods after which more funds would be granted.

More than 100 people have also died in the north-east Indian state of Assam, after the Brahmaputra river burst its banks.

Millions of people have been badly affected and essential supplies are running low.

"There is an acute scarcity of baby food and over 500,000 babies affected during the floods are starving," Assam Health Minister Bhumidhar Burman said.

Toll in India, Bangladesh floods passes 760
Rivers near Dhaka burst banks; worst flooding since ’98The Associated Press
Updated: 2:07 p.m. ET July 25, 2004

DHAKA, Bangladesh - Workers and volunteers frantically stacked sandbags Sunday to protect the capital from rising water, while the death toll in India’s devastating floods rose sharply when 139 bodies were washed up in eastern India.

The combined death toll in both countries rose to 762, with 535 fatalities in India. Twenty-five new deaths were reported Sunday in Bangladesh, where a total of 227 people have been killed by massive flooding.

Rivers around the capital, Dhaka, burst their banks, leaving 40 percent of the city of 10 million people under water.

Nearly two-thirds of Bangladesh — a delta nation of 140 million people — has been flooded since the start of the monsoon in late June. The floods, the worst since 1998, have affected about 20 million people, the Flood Forecasting and Warning Center said.

Most deaths have been due to drowning, lightning, waterborne diseases and electrocution from snapped power lines.

Hundreds of people from flooded parts of the capital took shelter in schools or offices. Some families pitched makeshift plastic and bamboo tents on sidewalks along busy streets.

Relief workers and volunteers stacked sandbags in a bid to stop water gushing through cracks in two main flood protection embankments to the west and southeast of Dhaka.

Transportation was disrupted, with two major highways and railroads linking the capital to the rest of the country, partially submerged. Many factories producing textiles — Bangladesh’s main export — were closed as water swept into the plants.

Floods are common in Bangladesh, a low-lying deltaic plain crisscrossed by hundreds of rivers that flow from the Himalayas into the Bay of Bengal. In 1998, about 70 percent of the country was inundated for nearly three months.

In India, rescue workers have found 139 bodies in the last two days as flood waters receded, said Upendra Sharma, a flood relief official in the eastern Indian state of Bihar.

Army soldiers were dropping food packages and drinking water in the worst hit regions.

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