Bangladesh, India race to help millions stranded in deadly flooding

By Ruma Paul and Zarir Hussain

DHAKA/GUWAHATI,India (Reuters) - Authorities in Bangladesh intensified efforts on Wednesday to deliver food and drinking water to millions of people struggling after heavy rain unleashed catastrophic flooding across a quarter of the country.

Bangladesh is considered one of the world's most climate-vulnerable countries, with a 2015 analysis by the World Bank Institute estimating about 3.5 million Bangladeshis are at risk of river flooding every year.

On Wednesday, at least 17 of the country's 64 districts, mostly in the north and north eastern Sylhet region, were reeling from the natural disaster.

Authorities said at least 36 people had been killed and about 4.5 million people stranded so far. The floods are also threatening to disrupt agriculture, infrastructure, and clean water supply.

Mohammad Mosharraf Hossain, Sylhet division's chief administrator, said 365 medical teams were trying to reach flood-affected areas to provide tablets to purify water for drinking.