Rescuers battle to reach victims of deadly Bangladesh landslides

2017-06-15 11:59:48 | #nomi
Rescuers battle to reach victims of deadly Bangladesh landslides
Rescuers battle to reach victims of deadly Bangladesh landslides

 

CHITTAGONG: Rescue workers battled on Wednesday to reach victims of landslides, described as the worst in Bangladesh’s history, as the death toll from the disaster rose to 152.

Villagers in some of the worst-hit areas used shovels to try to dig bodies out of the mud that engulfed their settlements as they slept.

Authorities say hundreds of homes were buried by mud and rubble sent cascading down hillsides after monsoon rains dumped 13.5 inches of water on the south-east of the country in just 24 hours.

Disaster Management Department chief Reaz Ahmed said the landslides were the worst in the country’s history and warned the death toll would rise as rescuers reached cut-off areas.

Khodeza Begum narrowly survived the disaster, which destroyed her home and killed 11 people in her village. She told a local news website how she emerged from her home just after dawn on Tuesday to see the mountainside collapsing in front of her.

Firefighters in the worst-hit district of Rangamati recovered six more bodies on Wednesday after clearing mud with shovels and water pumps.

“The bodies were three to five feet deep in mud. We pumped water at a force to clear the mud,” said Didarul Alam, fire services chief for Rangamati district.

The firefighters had pulled 18 people out from under the mud on Tuesday, but did not have the manpower to reach all the affected areas.

Alam said his team had been able to reach more areas on Wednesday after 60 reinforcements arrived from neighbouring Chittagong. Authorities have opened 18 shelters in the worst-hit hill districts, where 4,500 people have been evacuated, a minister said.

‘Backlash effect’

The monsoon rains came two weeks after Cyclone Mora smashed into Bangladesh’s southeast, killing at least eight people and damaging tens of thousands of homes.

South Asia is frequently hit by flooding and landslides in the summer with the arrival of the annual monsoon rains.

Extreme weather in the far north-eastern Indian state of Mizoram along the border with Bangladesh left 12 people dead, an official there said on Wednesday.

More than 200 people were killed in Sri Lanka last month when the monsoon triggered landslides and the worst flooding the island has seen in well over a decade.

Experts in Bangladesh said unplanned development in vulnerable areas was making the annual rains more deadly.

“There is a backlash effect. These things accelerate the pace of the disaster and make it more fatal,” said S.M.A. Fayez, an environmental science professor at Dhaka University.

Rescue work has been hobbled by heavy rains, which have cut transport links to some remote areas.

The army said thousands of troops stationed in the affected districts as part of efforts to quell a long-running tribal insurgency had joined the rescue efforts.

“Our soldiers based in all parts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts have participated in the rescue operations,”

said armed forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Rashidul Hasan.

Rangamati district chief Manzurul Mannan said 104 people had been killed there and 200 injured, some of them seriously.

.

Tags: #

Latest News

What to Next

123 killed, 100 injured as oil tanker explodes in Pakistan

At least 123 people have been burnt alive and dozens of others injured after an oil tanker caught fire and exploded near Bahawalpur in Pakistan's ... More

Qatar in deep trouble. United Arab States Issue ultimatum to Close Al Jazeera, information sharing with Iran.

Four Arab states that imposed a boycott on Qatar have issued an ultimatum to Doha to close Al Jazeera television, curb ties with Iran, shut a Turkish ... More

Arab states send Qatar 13 demands to end crisis, official says

Four Arab states boycotting Qatar over alleged support for terrorism have sent Doha a list of 13 demands including closing Al Jazeera television and r... More

Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav say in his latest confessional video

The following is a transcript of Kulbhushan Jadhav's 'second confessional statement', as issued by Inter-Services Public Relations. &qu... More

Russia near 100 per cent certain of Baghdadi death

The likelihood that the leader of the militant Islamic State (IS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has been killed is "close to 100 per cent", Interfa... More

India sends 31 satellites into space, some for foreign customers

India fired a rocket carrying 31 small satellites into space on Friday, several of them for European countries looking for high resolution earth image... More

Police officer beaten to death in India-held Kashmir

A police officer was beaten to death by an angry mob outside a mosque in India-held Kashmir, police said Friday, as tensions in the volatile region ra... More

Daesh destroys historic mosque in Mosul Iraq

MOSUL, Iraq : Daesh has blown up the enduring Grand al-Nuri mosque and its known leaning minaret, in Mosul, the Iraqi army aforesaid wednesday. ... More

Saudi Arabia eases control on women as King Salman revises guardianship law

Saudi women no longer need a man's consent to carry out certain activities, local media reported on Friday. The Arab News said a royal decree i... More

NASA telescope finds 10 more planets that could have life

NASA says its planet-hunting telescope has found 10 new planets outside our solar system that are likely the right size and temperature to potentially... More

79