DHAKA, Aug. 22, Reuter: Bangladesh is bracing for the aftermath of a devastating flood soaring food prices, falling supplies and scarcity of medicines.

Officials said today the worst floods for 40 years that have killed more than 500’ people are now static because waters in the four major rivers have stopped rising.

They said the prices of rice, wheat and salt have gone up by 40 per cent in the last week and they are still rising. But a senior food official brushed aside fears of a possible famine.

Acute transport problems in the area, most of which is still under water, are hindering fresh supplies of ant cholera vaccines to the medical squads, they said.

Local storms yesterday in the flooded areas of Gaibandha and Manikganj killed five people. This pushed the number of known deaths to 515.

“Like one woe trading upon another, we are now worried about the trauma of the floods”, one official told Reuters.

The floods have cut through 17,000 square miles (44,200 sq. km) of areas mostly in the north and affected 18 million people, nearly one sixth of the country’s population according to the latest government figures.

They have also made more than 1.5 million people homeless.

Most of them are living in relief camps and many are still perched in trees or floating bamboo made house roofs, relief officials said.

The flood emergency center in Dhaka said the four major rivers Jumna, Brahmaputra, Padma and Meghna have recorded no further rise in the last 24 hours although they are still flowing above danger levels.

Article extracted from this publication >>  August 28, 1987