Disease Fears Shadow Flood Victims

Relief workers struggle to supply food, medicine to waterlogged South Asia
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2007 3:48 PM CDT
Flood affected persons carry drinking water in their boat in Keranigonj on the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2007. International aid groups warned Tuesday of an impending health crisis...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Humanitarian efforts have come up short following massive floods in South Asia, sparking anger throughout the region. Hard-hit areas such as India's Bihar state have seen fighting over limited food and supplies, the BBC reports. An official in Bihar says relief efforts are now in “high gear,” but residents say air drops have not met demand.

Disease is also a concern, because many are drinking from flood-contaminated wells.  Officials say medicine is in ample supply, but blocked highways prevent its delivery. Even as water recedes, damaged bridges, buildings and fields continue to impede relief efforts. Disease is a growing problem in Nepal, and food is in short supply in drying-out areas of Bangladesh.