Dhaka, Bangladesh — Flood waters in northeastern Bangladesh have claimed at least six lives and affected tens of thousands of people, news reports from the area said Saturday.

 Officials in Maulvibazar,180 miles northeast of Dhaka, could not confirm the death toll but said that at least 79,000 people were marooned by the floods and many have moved to higher ground.

Maulvibazar’s top local official, Syed Mohsin Ali, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that low-lying areas of the town were under as much as five feet of water, and houses in many rural areas of the district were under as much as 15 feet of water.

Several thousand people affected by floods in the city were moved to safer places, Ali added.

Other officials in the district, reached by telephone, said more than 46,000 acres of cropland were destroyed and about 25,000 homes destroyed by the flooding, which was caused by heavy monsoon rains.

They said soldiers were helping local workers repair 17 breaches on the Manu River embankment. The officials spoke on condition they not be identified.

Railway officials said flooding had cut lines linking Maulvibazar and neighboring Sylhet district with the rest of the country since Monday. Repair work has begun on the railway bridge over the Manu River that was washed away by flood waters; aid the officials, who also demanded anonymity.

Bangladesh, which sits atop the Bay of Bengal and is almost surrounded on three sides by India, was struck by a May 2526 hurricane that killed at least 10,000 people, according to government estimates. Diarrheal diseases that followed the storm killed at least 150 people and infected another 1,000, newspaper reports said.

The impoverished Moslem nation has about 94 million people.

Article extracted from this publication >>  June 28, 1985