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. Bangladeshi capital flooded by record July monsoon

Bangladeshi pedestrians and rickshaw pullers make their way through flood waters in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka on July 28, 2009. Seasonal monsoon rains brought Dhaka to a standstill, with vehicles scarce on the flooded roads, offices off to a slow start and people trapped in homes as low-lying areas of the city were inundated. The weather office recorded 333mm of rainfall between midnight and 7am in Dhaka. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Dhaka (AFP) July 28, 2009
Rickshaws and cars ploughed through waist-high water in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka on Tuesday as the city received its biggest rainfall in a single July day for 60 years.

In the six hours after 01:00 am (1800 GMT Monday), 290 millimetres (11.42 inches) of rain fell, according to officials.

"It's the highest single day of rain in July since 1949," said Dhaka meteorologist Ayesha Khatun, adding that more downpours were forecast.

Six people were killed after standing on powerlines that were under the water, police told AFP.

The flooding brought the city to a standstill, with schools and offices unable to open and many of its 12 million residents stranded in their homes.

Much of Bangladesh has been experiencing drought conditions as the monsoon season, which runs from June to the end of September, has brought little rain.

Last week the government ordered free electricity for farmers to pump underground water after shortages threatened the summer rice crop, which accounts for 40 percent of food grain production.

Farmers had held special prayers this week to bring on rain to irrigate their land so that summer rice can be sown.

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More than 20 people died and hundreds were made homeless as the worst flooding to hit Mongolia in decades wreaked havoc on the landlocked nation, an international aid group said Monday. Beijing-based International Red Cross spokesman Francis Markus told AFP 23 people had been confirmed killed, citing figures provided by Mongolia's Red Cross Society. The full damage assessment from the ... read more

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