Continued downpour triggered another landslide on Wednesday leaving a Rohingya woman dead and three more members of her family injured in a Cox’s Bazar camp as the Bangladesh Meteorological Department forecast more rains through the region.
The incessant rain added to woes of Rohingya people living in tents and shanties made with polythene sheets. They said that they were virtually passing night without sleep while many parents kept their infants in the lap in futile attempt to save them from rainwater.
They said that large areas of the Rohingya camps went underwater in the downpour while fears of further landsides were growing in the highly congested refugee camps.
Most of the Rohingya people are living on the slopes of hills after destroying trees and loosening the soil structure.
Rains inundated large portions of camps in low lying areas and drenched and mudded almost all the roads.
Many Rohingyas alleged that they were having severe problems doing household chores, mainly cooking, collecting safe drinking water and going to latrine and coming from it, said a Rohingya living in Balukhali camp.
New Age correspondent in Cox’s Bazar reported that a landslide at 11:00am on Wednesday killed Rohingya woman Mariam Khatun, 50, and left her daughters Samuda Khatun, 35, Rokeya Begum, 26, and her three-year-old girl Umme Habiba injured at Shafiullah Katar camp under Ukhia upazila.
Additional refugee, relief and repatriation commissioner in Cox’s Bazar Md Shamsudduza confirming the landslide incident and said that a latrine had got uprooted due to the landslide and fell on their shelter.
Rohingyas rushed all the victims to Médecins Sans Frontières [also known as Doctors Without Border] hospital where the duty doctor said that Mariam had died before being brought to the health facility, locals said.
Shamsudduza said that several thousand Rohingya people were affected by the rains that damaged about 6,000 shelters since June 9.
‘Many Rohingyas have been relocated to local schools, madrassahs and nearby shelters as their sheds collapsed during the incessant rain in the area,’ Shamsudduza said.
Heavy downpour was taking place since Saturday night in the district. Cox’s Bazar met office recorded 144 millimetres rainfall between Tuesday 6:00am and Wednesday 3:00pm.
Met office in Dhaka said that cautionary signal 3 was in place at Cox’s Bazar and other maritime ports as southern monsoon has set on over Bangladesh.
Met office in its special flood outlook issued on Wednesday afternoon for north-eastern and south eastern basins said that rainfall with a magnitude of 40-80 mm in Bandarban and 80-120 mm in Cox’s Bazar and adjoining Indian parts were expected in next 24-48 hours. Water levels in Matamuhuri and Sangu rivers may rise rapidly in the next 24 hours, it said.
A Rohingya child died in a landside on Monday and a Rohingya youth died on Tuesday as a tree fell on him amid strong winds and heavy monsoon rainfall. Another Rohingya child was killed in a landslide in May.
UNHCR on Tuesday said that torrential rain and wind up to 70 kilometres per hour caused at least 89 reported incidents, including 37 landslide incidents, causing several injuries and one confirmed fatality — a child. Nearly 2,500 refugee families, some 11,000 people in all, were affected.
About 7,00,000 Rohingya people crossed into Bangladesh fleeing unbridled murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the UN denounced as ethnic cleansing since August 25, 2017.
The influx of over 11 lakh Myanmar refugees into Bangladesh since 1978 led to indiscriminate deforestation and hill cutting.
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