With more areas in 27 northern and central districts or one-third of the country inundated by floodwaters, the authorities now say an estimated five million people are affected.

The second spell of the flooding, triggered by the onrush of upstream water and heavy rains, has claimed 77 lives in the affected areas in a week, the Department of Disaster Management officials said on Friday.

There is no definitive count of deaths, but the authorities on Wednesday said that 107 people died in floods since July.

The flood has damaged crops on over 618,000 hectares of land.

Naznin Shamima, an official at the DDM control room, said 133 Upazilas and 43 municipalities of 27 districts have so far been flooded.

The number of affected families is over 1.1 million, she added.

Swathes of Kurhigram, Lalmonirhat, Rangpur, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Netrakona, Rangamati, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Bogra, Sirajganj, Khagrhachharhi, Dinajpur, Jamalpur, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Mymensingh, Brahmanbarhia, Rajbarhi, Naogaon, Joypurhat, Jessore, Moulvibazar, Faridpur, Tangail, Manikganj and Madaripur districts have gone under water.

The authorities have closed more than 3,000 educational institutions in Kurhigram, Lalmonirhat, Netrakona, Bogra, Sirajganj, Dinajpur, Jamalpur, Mymensingh, Rajbari, Naogaon, Joypurhat, Jessore, and Tangail.

The deluge has destroyed around 15,000 houses completely and around 250,000 more partially.

Floodwaters in some areas in Kurigram have started receding, according to reports.

The disaster management department says cash of around Tk 60 million, about 16 tonnes of rice and 36,500 packets of dry food have been distributed among the flood-affected people.

After visiting Dinajpur and Thakurgaon on Friday, the department's Director General Md Reaz Ahmed said Tk 70 million cash and 19.5 tonnes of rice have been allotted for the flood-hit people so far.

One-third of the country submerged

Reaz Ahmed told bdnews24.com that around one-third of the country has been flooded.

He said the situation was improving as the water in northern districts is decreasing. He expected the situation in the central districts to also improve in four to five days.

He claimed the situation this year is not as devastating as it was in 1988 and 1998.

In the floods of 1988, around 64 percent of the country went under water while the 1998 flood submerged 68 percent, he said.

The floods in those years lasted more than two months each, causing more devastation than this year, he said.

"But the death toll this year is very high. Because dams collapsed in many areas suddenly. Snake bites and other reasons also caused the deaths. Districts like Dinajpur have experienced flooding for the first time this year," he said.

More floods feared

The disaster management department chief said though the current situation 'is improving', another bout of floods may hit the country by the end of this month.

"Rain may start in the upstream on Aug 24 or 25. The country may also experience rain," he said.

"That's why floods may hit the country again before the Eid-ul-Azha. The sufferings will increase in that case," he added.

At least 13 districts were struck by floods in the second half of July.