1200 dead, millions homeless due to flooding in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh

Heavy monsoon rains have brought Mumbai to a halt for a second day as the worst floods to strike South Asia in years continued to exact a deadly toll, the Guardians reports.

Devastating seasonal monsoon rains, flooding and landslides in South Asia have killed more than 1,200 and affected almost 41 million across northern India, southern Nepal and northern Bangladesh.

On Tuesday, Mumbai was flooded as the entire city came to a standstill. Health workers have begun sending supplies of mosquito repellent, bleaching powder and water purification tablets to the worst-hit areas, said health official Badri Vishal.

Streets in Mumbai have turned into rivers and people waded through waist-deep waters. The U.N. estimates that more than 41 million people have been affected by the downpour.

The death toll continues to rise amid concerns that disease and food insecurity could claim even more lives, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). "Many flood survivors have lost everything: their homes, their possessions, their crops", representative Christa Räder said. Modi pledged $78 million for relief efforts there, Al Jazeera reported.

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Officials are calling on people to stay at home. Train services were stopped, flights cancelled and schools and colleges were shut down as the roads were submerged in knee-length water.

Nearly 2,000 relief camps have been established, the United Nations says.

"If you compare the shelter conditions in Bangladesh to Texas, as dire as the condition may seem in Texas, typically, we would at least have safe structures on safe ground - not in flood plains", he said. On Tuesday, the city received about 12.7cm of rain, paralysing public transport and leaving thousands of commuters stranded in their offices overnight.

The past few weeks of monsoon flooding have had their most devastating effect on India's east and north, as well as neighboring Bangladesh and Nepal.

The city is vulnerable to storms since buildings have been constructed on coastal areas and flood plains, and waterways and storm drains are often blocked by plastic garbage.

  • Sonia Alvarado