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Bangladesh monsoon kills seven

Bangladesh flood
Monsoon rains have swollen Bangladesh rivers beyond danger levels  

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Monsoon floods sweeping northeastern Bangladesh have killed at least seven people and made thousands homeless.

"Four persons were killed in landslide and floods after the Manu and Dhalai rivers burst embankments," Abdul Quader, relief and rehabilitation officer of Moulvi Bazar district, told Reuters.

He said some 50,000 people were stranded by floods in the district.

Three people were killed when flood water from the Khowai river inundated part of Habiganj town, another official said.

Many of nearly 100,000 people stranded on flooded Sandwip Island in the Bay of Bengal have been living on boats, rooftops and trees for two days.

Part of the island was cut off by up to four feet (1.3 meters) of rainwater held back by an embankment built to keep off sea surge, a local official said on Thursday.

Agricultural damage

Officials in the tea-growing northeast said the floods, triggered by heavy monsoon rain and water flowing in from India, had destroyed around 7,000 homes, and inundated 10,000 acres (4,000 hectares) of land planted with rice and vegetables.

Agriculture officials said they did not fear major losses to crops because they believed the floods would be short-lived.

"Some fields with newly-planted rice have gone under water. But it is too early to estimate any damage," said one official with the government's agriculture extension department.

Train services from northeastern areas to the capital Dhaka and Chittagong port city have been suspended for two days after a small railway bridge was swept away by floodwaters.

The floods also inundated some roads, disrupting movement of buses and trucks, transport operators said.

The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre said water levels in the Surma, Kushiyara, Manu and Khowai rivers were still above danger levels but could fall in a few days when rains were expected to recess.

Reuters contributed to this report.

• Bangladesh government links

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