Heavy Rain Triggers Mudslides
Incessant overnight rain caused a massive series of landslides in southeast Bangladesh, killing at least 140 people and injuring many more.
The landslides buried hundreds of homes in three hilly districts in southeast Bangladesh early on Tuesday.
Rangamati district, where mostly tribal villagers live in small communities near a lake surrounded by hills, suffered the most casualties. Local officials reported at least 103 people dead and 5,000 homes damaged in the hilly area.
Neighboring districts including the port city of Chittagong and Bandarban also suffered from the flows of mudslides following heavy rains.
In Chittagong, the mudslides killed 29 people and six others died in the neighboring Bandarban district.
Hundreds were injured and dozens still missing.
Search and Rescue Operations Are Underway
Bangladesh Army troopers immediately launched search and rescue operations after the disaster. But the task was not easy, as rescue operations are being hampered by bad weather.
The army lost some of their members while taking part in rescue operations. Reports say two army officers and two soldiers were killed while clearing the road.
Through the collaborative effort of the hundreds of rescuers from the Army, Fire Service and Civil Defense, police and local volunteers, around 10,000 people in Rangamati and Bandarban were rescued and evacuated to emergency shelters.
Amid the ongoing search for possible survivors, local officials feared more deaths, as many houses were completely engulfed by the mud. The residents were unprepared for the disaster, especially as it happened when most were sleeping.
Mudslides and Cyclones Are Not New in Bangladesh
The delta nation of Bangladesh is frequently hit by strong storms, torrential rains, flooding and landslides. It is a country that floods easily.
Last month, Cyclone Mora hit Bangladesh’s south-east that killed at least eight people, damaged thousands of homes and displaced a million people.
Landslides caused by seasonal monsoons often hit the southern hills of Bangladesh. In 2007, about 130 people were killed by a landslide in Chittagong.