Destruction, debris mar Bangladesh mudslide rescue; 140 dead

Heavy rains paralyzed the Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra dam areas on Tuesday

Heavy rains paralyzed the Dhaka-Narayanganj-Demra dam areas on Tuesday

The landslides triggered by the monsoon rains came two weeks after Cyclone Mora hit Bangladesh, leaving eight people dead and damaging hundreds of homes.

Another four deaths have been reported on Wednesday morning in landslides in Cox's Bazar and Khagrachhari.

Numerous victims belonged to the ethnic minority or tribal groups who live in makeshift structures along the hills in Bandarban and Rangamati where power cuts and no road connection have enhanced miseries of the residents, officials said.

Police chief in Chittagong, Rezaul Masud, said the death toll in his district climbed to 27 from 13 earlier.

Bodies of a mother Rupali Chakma, and her two daughters - Jui Chakma, 12, and Jhumjhumi Chakma, 7 - were recovered from Juba Unnayan area of the district.

In 2007, about 130 people were killed in a landslide in Chittagong in the southeast. Most low-lying areas of the port city of Chittagong are inundated because of the ceaseless rain, he said.

Rescue operations are on as rescue teams searched for more bodies buried under mud and debris with shovels and bare hands, he said.

He said rescuers pulled at least 30 bodies out from the mud and earth in Chittagong while seven people were killed due to landslides in the country's southeastern Bandarban district.

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Bandarban and Chittagong were the other two affected districts.

An aerial view showing the town half-submerged in floodwaters following landslides triggered by heavy rain in Khagrachari, Bangladesh. Chittagong alone experienced 222mm of rain during the same period.

None of these areas has seen such rain in recent years, said Reaz Ahmed, Director General of the Disaster Management Department.

Numerous victims were from poor tribal communities in the remote hill district of Rangamati, close to the Indian border, where mudslides buried hundreds of homes.

Bangladesh is in the middle of the monsoon season, but Monday's downpour was caused by a depression in the Bay of Bengal.

Heavy rains have unleashed landslides that killed at least 48 people in remote southeastern districts of Bangladesh.

The district administrations opened a number of makeshift shelter homes for people evacuated and rescued from some 20 landslide spots.

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