Poor drainage in city has meant that blood has combined with rain to form red floods in Bangladeshi capital.
Animal sacrifices as part of the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha have combined with rain in Dhaka to form rivers of blood in the streets of the Bangladeshi capital.
Poor drainage in the city makes flooding a regular fact of Dhaka life. But the problem is rarely illustrated as vividly as it was on Tuesday, after thousands of sheep, goats and cows were slaughtered.
One of the two holiest events in the Muslim calendar, Eid al-Adha commemorates the willingness of the prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son at God’s request.
Authorities in Dhaka said they had established hundreds of designated sacrifice spots in the run-up to the festival to make it easier to clean away blood and animal carcasses.
But local media said most residents eschewed the special areas, preferring to make sacrifices in their garages or on the streets outside their homes.
The result was a nightmarish blending of blood and water that filled streets and narrow lanes across Dhaka from Tuesday morning.
“I felt I was walking through a post-apocalyptic neighbourhood,” said Atish Saha, a Dhaka-based artist. “To be honest, I was scared. It was an image of mass violence that shouldn’t ever be experienced.”
Particularly jarring was said to be the sight of families, including infants, wading into the flood in celebratory “Eid day” moods. “It made me speechless,” he said.
Saha said the ritual slaughter was continuing in parts of the city on Wednesday.
The waters had mostly receded by the morning but bitumen and dirt roads still had a reddish hue and were littered with animal entrails.