Landslides kill nine as rain lashes Bangladesh

Schools have been turned into shelters for those abandoning their homes to rising river waters

By AFP
June 20, 2024
People carry umbrellas as they gather near a landslide affected area at the Balukhali refugee camp in Ukhia at Bangladesh´s Cox´s Bazar on June 19, 2024. — AFP

Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh: Torrential rains in Bangladesh have triggered landslides burying alive at least nine people and forcing thousands to flee to higher ground, police and government officials in the low-lying nation said Wednesday.

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Schools have been turned into shelters for those abandoning their homes to rising river waters, while more than a million people have been stranded in northern areas. Bangladesh, a nation of around 170 million people, is among the countries most vulnerable to disasters and climate change, according to the Global Climate Risk Index.

“At least 700,000 people have been stranded by flash floods and heavy rains in Sylhet district, and another 500,000 people in neighbouring Sunamganj district,” Abu Ahmed Siddique, commissioner of Bangladesh´s northeastern Sylhet district, told AFP.

Those killed in landslides were in the southeastern Cox´s Bazar district. Eight were Rohingya refugees from neighbouring Myanmar, and the other was from Bangladesh, said Amir Jafar, a police official in command of security in the camps.

“They were sleeping in their shelters when heavy rains overnight triggered the landslides in five spots of the camps,” Jafar told AFP. “They were buried under the mud.”

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