Spotlight: Death toll from Bangladesh landslides rises to 134
15 June, 2017, 00:58
The delta nation of Bangladesh is frequently hit by strong storms, flooding and landslides.
"We've rescued and evacuated around 2,300 people in Rangamati and Bandarban", Reaz Ahmed, director general of the Department of Disaster Management, tells reporters.
At least 37 people died in Chittagong, four in Cox's Bazar and seven more in the neighbouring hill districts of Bandarban and Khagrachhari, officials said.
The fire service with local people resumed the operation on Wednesday morning hours after it suspended operation due to bad weather and disrupted communication in the landslides-hit area.
Officials said the Rangamati death toll included four members of Bangladesh Army including two of its officers.
Communities are still struggling to recover from Cyclone Mora, which killed nine people and damaged or destroyed more than 50,000 homes in the districts of Chittagong, Bandarban and Cox's Bazar.
The police, Army and firefighters were engaged in rescue operations.
Mannan said rescuers amidst difficulties reached in of the affected areas either by boats or on foot as most roads were inaccessible.
Numerous victims were from tribal communities in the remote hill district of Rangamati, close to the Indian border, where 98 people were killed when mudslides buried their homes.
"The government needs to do much more in evacuation, stopping land grabs and hill cutting as well as deforestation", he said.
At least 147 people were killed in Bangladesh and neighboring regions of northeast India after heavy rains triggered a series of landslides and flooded swaths of land over the past two days, officials said on Wednesday.
"The soldiers were sent to clear roads hit by landslide in Manikchhari town when they were themselves buried by a second landslide", armed forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Rashidul Hassan told AFP.
At least 10 more army men were injured, five critically, in the Rangamati incident, according to a press statement by the ISPR.
The deaths in devastating landslides triggered by heavy rains in southeast Bangladesh rose to 125, an official said today.
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced after unusually heavy rain on Monday triggered a string of mudslides.
The EU ambassador to Bangladesh, Pierre Mayaudon, said the EU stood ready to provide support and relief efforts to alleviate the impact of this severe disaster.
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