Land­slides kill 12 as mon­soon bat­ters Ro­hingya refugees

Iran Daily - - Front Page -

Land­slides trig­gered by mon­soon rains killed at least 12 peo­ple Tues­day in Bangladesh near camps hous­ing one mil­lion Ro­hingya refugees, of­fi­cials said.

Aid agen­cies have been warn­ing of the po­ten­tial for a humanitarian catas­tro­phe over the com­ing months as heavy rains lash an area home to the world’s largest refugee camp, AFP re­ported.

Most of Tues­day’s vic­tims were buried un­der mud when sur­round­ing hills gave way af­ter a del­uge.

Eleven peo­ple died in Na­niar­char in­clud­ing a fam­ily of four, while sev­eral peo­ple re­mained miss­ing, district ad­min­is­tra­tor Ma­munur Rashid said.

An­other per­son was killed in neigh­bor­ing Cox’s Bazar district, po­lice said.

Land­slides have so far killed at least 13 peo­ple this week, af­ter a Ro­hingya boy was crushed to death by a col­laps­ing mud wall at the Ku­tu­pa­long refugee camp on Mon­day.

Some 200,000 Ro­hingya who live on hills around the refugee camps are at risk of death or in­jury from mon­soon rains, of­fi­cials and re­lief agen­cies have said.

Many of the hills around the set­tle­ments have been cleared of trees to build shel­ters, mak­ing the land highly un­sta­ble.

Nearly 29,000 peo­ple have been moved to new lo­ca­tions ahead of the mon­soon but the risk of a tragedy re­mains high.

“Re­lo­ca­tion is con­tin­u­ing but the prob­lem is where (to) find land to move peo­ple,” UN refugee agency spokesper­son Caro­line Gluck said.

At least 300 shel­ters were dam­aged by rains that be­gan late Satur­day, Bangladesh of­fi­cials said.

The In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Red Cross and Red Cres­cent So­ci­eties said wa­ter­borne dis­ease was on the rise as flood­wa­ters min­gled with la­trines.

“We’re al­ready see­ing in­creases in acute wa­ter di­ar­rhoea, and the risk of an out­break of wa­ter­borne dis­eases is now a se­ri­ous like­li­hood,” San­jeev Kafley, IFRC’S lo­cal chief, said in a state­ment.

The re­gion is fore­cast to re­ceive 2.5 me­ters (8.2 feet) of rain­fall dur­ing the mon­soon sea­son – roughly triple what Bri­tain gets in a year.

Last year, mon­soon rains trig­gered land­slides in Cox’s Bazar and the nearby Chit­tagong hill tracts, killing at least 170 peo­ple.

There are also fears flood­ing could spread dis­ease in the refugee camps.

About 700,000 Ro­hingya Mus­lims have fled neigh­bor­ing Myan­mar since last Au­gust af­ter an army crackdown which the UN says amounted to “eth­nic cleans­ing”.

They join around 300,000 refugees from ear­lier vi­o­lence in mainly Bud­dhist Myan­mar, where the Ro­hingya are a per­se­cuted mi­nor­ity.

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