130 dead following incessant downpour, landslides overnight in Bangladesh

Elizabeth Williams
June 14, 2017

Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) of Bangladesh Army said 10 more army personnel were also injured in the incident while another still remained missing.

Shah Kamal, the secretary of Bangladesh's disaster ministry, said there had been no rain on Wednesday and rescue operations were in full swing.

Four soldiers died when a mudslide smashed into them while they were trying to clear a blocked road in the remote Rangamati district on Tuesday, said army official Mohammed Redwan.

A Rangamati district administration official who preferred to be unnamed said rescuers have retrieved 45 bodies in the district, 391 km away from Dhaka. But military spokesman Rezaul Karim says rescuers have been unable to get heavy machinery to the remote areas to help dig through the debris and have been using speedboats to bypass roads.

Also destruction of hills and trees over the years has made the hills risky, contributing to the disaster, said Reaz Ahmed, director general of the disaster management department.

Four soldiers were killed in a landslide on Tuesday and another is missing.

"We need to accomplish a crucial task of resuming Chittagong's road communications with Bandarban and Rangamati and Bandarban alongside salvaging the landslide victims", a Disaster Management official told reporters.

As many as 106 people died in Rangamati alone while 21 bodies were revered from Rangunia and Chandanaish and three from Bandarban and one from Khagracchari. "Six people are still missing", Khatiza Begum told local news website Bangla Tribune at Rangamati hospital.

Incessant rain battered the country on Monday triggered the landslide in the hilly terrain causing the colossal damage to the life and property.

He said some 4,000 people were moved to 18 government shelters as the landslides ravaged their homes and were exposed to the danger of getting buried in fresh mudslides.

The three southeastern hill districts of Ragamati, Bandarban and Khagrachhari known as Chittagong hill tracts received over 300mm of rainfall in the 24 hours till Tuesday.

Numerous victims were from poor tribal communities in the remote hill district of Rangamati, close to the Indian border, where mudslides buried hundreds of homes.

Other reports by VgToday

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