Disasters & Accidents

21 dead, thousands relocated due to heavy rain in southeastern Bangladesh

Dhaka, Jul 31 (EFE).- At least 21 people, including six Rohingya refugees, died and thousands of people have been relocated as persistent heavy rainfall, strong winds and landslides battered Bangladesh’s southeastern Cox’s Bazar district, authorities said on Saturday.

District administrator Mamunur Rashid confirmed the deaths to EFE, adding that the fatalities include children.

He added that a total of 518 villages were affected by the harsh weather condition during the last one week.

Mohammad Mamun, an NGO worker from Teknaf area said the flood water left many people stranded in their houses, and also damaged roads and crops.

“Most of the houses in our villages are made of clay. They were badly damaged by the flood water. The water started receding today but it is still very bad,” Mamun told EFE.

UN refugee agency UNHCR said over 3,800 shelters housing over 21,000 refugees have been destroyed or damaged due to the extreme weather events.

The damaged facilitates include hundreds of primary health clinics, distribution points and latrines, it said in a statement.

More than 13,000 refugees have been forced to temporarily relocate and have sought shelter in community facilities or with other families.

Many roads have been blocked by debris, pathways washed away, and footbridges destroyed, while more rain is expected in the coming days.

Aid workers have often warned against landslides and waterlogging in Rohingya camps, located in southeastern Bangladesh.

Earlier this month, the United Nations agency International Organization for Migration (IOM) said it was assessing the risk of landslides, while also strengthening drainage networks, installing slope protection measures and upgrading key pathways in the region.

IOM and its implementing partners have also trained and equipped 10 mobile medical teams and 350 community health workers to act as first responders, while 11 ambulances have been kept ready.

Around 738,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh since Aug. 25, 2017, following a military campaign in response to an alleged attack by a Rohingya insurgent group against checkposts of the security forces. EFE


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