53 killed as heavy rains trigger massive slides in Bangladesh

Heavy rains have triggered landslides in southeastern Bangladesh.

Updated: Jun 15, 2010, 18:37 PM IST

Dhaka: Massive landslides triggered by
overnight torrential rains killed 53 people, burying some
alive in Bangladesh`s sea resort town of Cox`s Bazar
flattening shanties and makeshift structures.

Four separate landslides hit Cox`s Bazar and
Bandarban areas burying a number of people and leaving scores
of others missing as heavy rains hamperered rescue efforts,
police said.
"According to our information so far, atleast 49
people including six soldiers have been killed and a number of
others are buried alive in the landslides in four places in
Cox`s Bazar and Bandarban", a police official at the
north-eastern Chittagong port city said.

Officials said 12 people were still missing and fear
that the toll could go up as a lot of people are still buried
in the mudslide.

Officials and witnesses said the rains loosened small
hill tops and mudslides came crashing downhill burying
makeshift houses and a military camp.

The mudslides, police said, hit Ukhia and Teknaf
sub-districts, bordering Myanmar and home to thousands of
ethnic Rohingya refugees catching the people asleep. Atleast
25 people were killed in these areas.
Police said hundreds of bamboo shacks were washed away
by mudslides and flash floods caused by heavy rains.

Mudslides also washed away army barracks in Cox`s
Bazar proper where 18 people including six armymen were
killed. Some army personnel were still reported trapped as the
landslides buried the camp completely including 20 vehicles
parked there.

"We have not been able to start the rescue operations
as rain is hampering efforts and most of the roads are
flooded," police said.

The authorities called out army and fire brigade for
help.

A depression in the Bay of Bengal caused heavy
downpour in the hilly and forested region, triggering
landslides. Weather officials have forecast further rains in
the region.

PTI