Just one year after landslides killed more than 150 people in the remote district of Rangamati, heavy monsoon rains are again causing deadly landslides across the region. According to official reports, at least 12 people were killed in Rangamati and Cox’s Bazar on Tuesday, June 12, alone. Two people are still missing.
Bangladesh Meteorological Department officials in Dhaka recorded the country’s highest 264 mm (10.39 inches) rainfall in Rangamati in 24 hours ending June 12 at 06:00 local time. During the same period, Cox’s Bazar recorded 86 mm (3.38 inches) during the time. Within 48 hours to June 12, Cox’s Bazar recorded over 300 mm (11.8 inches) of rain.
Rangamati deputy commissioner AKM Mamunur Rashid said that landslide killed 11 people at three villages under Nannerchar. “Four of them were killed in Dharmachandpara, four members of a family at Boropoolpara and three others at Hatimara. Nine of the Nannerchar victims were identified so far,” he said, as reported by NewAge Bangladesh.
Nannerchar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Abdullah Al Mamun said that people killed in a landslide on Tuesday did not live in hill pockets. “They were living far from the hill for the last 30 years. But severe landslide came down in a different way, killing people far from the hillside.”
Fire Service and Civil Defence deputy director Didarul Alam said hillside submerged the low lying areas of Baghaichari, Longdu, Jurachori, Borkol and Kaokhali upazila in Rangamati.
“Thousands of Rohingya refugees are at extreme risk of life-threatening landslides in the hilly refugee settlements of Bangladesh. We urgently need more emergency evacuation space to save lives,” said Kevin J. Allen, UNHCR Head of Operations for the Rohingya Refugee Emergency.
Punishing rains in the Rohingya refugee sites today. @UNHCR_BGD , with partners, working in support of Bangladesh Govt, helped to move more than 20 families at high risk of landslides to safer areas; but thousands more still at risk and need to be relocated. #WithRefugees pic.twitter.com/TOLVVqh97a
— UNHCR in Bangladesh (@UNHCR_BGD) June 12, 2018
As monsoon rains continue to pour down in #Bangladesh, thousands of @Refugees are at very high risk of landslides. We urgently need space for emergency evacuations to save lives. @UNHCR_BGS pic.twitter.com/hrInV2xPg9
— Kevin J. Allen (@Kevin_J_Allen) June 12, 2018
The first serious #monsoon rains have hit the #Rohingya #refugee camps in #Bangladesh over the week end. Damage reported in various areas, our partners are working round the clock to support the affected communities and ensure #aid operations continue pic.twitter.com/OB7fm9tSI8
— Pierre Prakash (@ECHO_Asia) June 10, 2018
Heave rain, flooding and landslides in neighboring Myanmar’s Shan state and Magway and Sagaing regions left at least 1 person dead and 3 missing.
Numerous landslides caused by heavy monsoon rains have buried thousands of homes and claimed lives of at least 152 people in Bangladesh in June 2017. Police say many of the dead are from poor tribal communities living in traditional homes in the remote district of Rangamati. The Disaster Management Department chief Reaz Ahmed said the landslides were the worst in the country’s history and warned the death toll would rise as rescuers reach more remote areas.
Featured image: First serious 2018 Southwest Monsoon rains hit the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh – June 10, 2018. Credit: Pierre Prakesh/ECHO Asia