More than 100 killed in Bangladesh landslides
June 13th, 2017 at 10:35 pm
More than 100 killed in Bangladesh landslides

Dhaka – The rain-triggered landslides in south-eastern Bangladeshi hilly district have left more than 100 people, including army troopers, killed and many others wounded, officials said on Tuesday.

The monsoon rains that battered entire Bangladesh on Monday also wrecked havoc to low-laying areas of the districts where many people were rendered homeless because of the floods. Crops were also washed away, road communications snapped and vast area passed through power outage for hours.

But the main concentration is in Rangamati, the worst affected area, where nearly 350 millimeters of rainfall was recorded in 24 hours ended Tuesday morning caused numerous landslides.

At least 27 people died in Chittagong and seven others in the neighbouring district of Bandarban following the 48 hours of incessant rain, according to local authorities

District police chief Syed Tarikul Hasan said 67 bodies were pulled out of the mudslides from different parts of Rangamati amid rain on the second day.

He said the rescuers have had a difficult time reaching the remote villages as roads were blocked by mudslides and toppled trees.

Bangladesh disaster

A house is seen flooding in lake water after it was destroyed in landslide in Rangamati – Photo by Nazim Uddin

Hasan said most of the victims are from poor tribal communities living in traditional thatched homes in the vast swathe of hilly terrains alongside artificial Captai Lake.

He added the most mudslides occurred in the night when people were asleep.

More than 800 people were evacuated to school buildings for safety, he said adding that adequate food and medical supplies were made available for them.

The rescue operation will continue for at least two days. Army troopers and members of the fire service and civil defence department have been trying to restore road communications that snapped because of the mudslides.

Bangladesh disaster

A scene from the Rangamati landslide that killed more than 100 people on Tuesday – Photo by Michael Roy

More than 100 people have been rescued so far in the disaster-affected areas and rushed to local medical facilities, said Golam Mostafa, a member of the rescue team from Fire Service and Civil Defence department.

The natural disaster left four army troopers killed and two others missing, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury, minister for disaster management and relief, told reporters in Dhaka.

“We have arranged sufficient assistance for the affected people,” he said   adding that army troopers, the fire service, the civil defence and local volunteers have launched massive searches in the remote hills as many civilians are still missing.

Inter Service Public Relations department, reported that the troopers were killed during a rescue operation.

Police chief in Chittagong, Rezaul Masud, said the death toll in his district climbed to 27 from 13 earlier. Most low-lying areas of the port city of Chittagong are inundated because of the ceaseless rain, he said.

Commuters were seen being ferried by boats on many submerged roads.

Bangladesh landslide

Rescue response to the deadly landslide in Rangamati – Photo by Michael Roy

Seven people have been killed in the hilly town of Bandarban, after their homes were hit on Monday night, according to police officer Rafiq Ullah.

More than 3,000 hilly residents were evacuated to safety amid fears of more landslides, said Dilip Kumar Banik, head of the district administration.

Bangladesh experienced heavy monsoon rains throughout Monday because of the influence of a depression formed in the Bay of Bengal.

The Dhaka Met office said Tuesday morning it recorded 343 millimetres of rainfall in Rangamati over the course of 24 hours. It forecasts more rain for Tuesday.

The torrential rain-triggered disaster came less than two weeks after Cyclone Mora pounded the south-eastern coast of Bangladesh leaving at least eight people killed and many others wounded.

The cyclone damaged more than 60,000 homes in the coastal districts and wrecked havoc on crops in the vast areas.

A flash-flood triggered by heavy rain in the Indian hills in April damaged crops and aquatic species in Bangladesh’s north-eastern Haors prompting the government to decide food import. Bangladesh has loss nearly half a million tones of rice production because flash-flood.