41 people killed by lightning and landslides in worst monsoon season for years

Over 40 people have been killed and 6million left stranded after a huge monsoon storm unleashed floods, landslides and lightning across Bangladesh.

Some had to spend entire days waiting for rescue on the roofs of their houses as the extreme seasonal weather turned roads into ferocious rivers.

Torrential downpours began on Friday (June 17) and lasted throughout the weekend, with efforts to rescue people trapped inside buildings and distribute aid continuing on Sunday night (June 19).

The military has now been deployed in the north-eastern region of Sylhet, which has experienced some of the worst impacts from the flooding.

Members of Bangladeshi army, navy and coast guard have joined with local aid workers to relocate people in low-lying areas to higher ground.

Widespread power outages left many thousands without power and Osmani International Airport – the third largest airport in Bangladesh – was also forced to close.

Sylhet region chief government administrator Mosharraf Hossain told AFP: "The situation is bad. More than 4m people have been stranded by flood water.

“Much of the country’s northeast is under water and the situation is getting worse as heavy downpour continues”.

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The southern port city of Chattogram experienced two separate landslides on Saturday (June 18), which was confirmed to have led to the deaths of members of two families.

While the yearly monsoon is often seen as a lifeline for farmers growing crops in the South Asian nation, this most recent storm is understood to have brought levels of rainfall not seen in the quarter of a century.

Some commentators have said climate change could be to blame for the worse-than-usual rainfall.

The UN's intergovernmental panel on climate change previously claimed that around 17% of the population of Bangladesh will be forced to move from their homes in the next decade should global warming continue at its present rate.

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