Environment

Deadly landslides hit Bangladesh again, just one year after its ‘worst landslides in history’


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.

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





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