33 die in Bangladesh due to drought
May 6, 2007 - 11:41:27 PM

Dhaka, May 6 - At least 33 people died in northern Bangladesh in the past two days due to the effects of a rainless summer that has struck the country's rice growing hinterlands, officials and media reports said Sunday.

Health Department officials in the worst affected northern regions of Rangpur and Dinajpur said hundreds of people infected by a diarrhoeal epidemic were treated in government-run hospitals, while the daily Ittefaq quoted health officials as saying the 33 deaths were due to intestinal diseases.

A severe shortage of safe drinking water was caused by a drought that swept the countryside, drying up deep wells and other reservoirs.

Medical officers at the international Cholera Hospital in capital Dhaka reported an unusual increase of patients registering for dehydration treatment.

Nearly 350 people were admitted daily in the past one week, hospital sources said.

The Met office said a low pressure in the Bay of Bengal developed into a deep depression on Saturday affecting the summer heat.

Temperatures soared to 39 degree Celsius in the northern region with a high level of humidity, said senior weather officer Samarendra Karmakar.

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