600,000 evac­u­ated in Bangladesh

New Straits Times - - World -

Cy­clone Mora bat­tered Bangladesh yes­ter­day killing five peo­ple and se­ri­ously dam­ag­ing a camp hous­ing thou­sands of Ro­hingya refugees who had fled vi­o­lence in Myan­mar.

Authorities said they evac­u­ated nearly 600,000 peo­ple from vul­ner­a­ble ar­eas be­fore the storm hit the coastal district here early yes­ter­day, bring­ing winds of up to 135kph.

Dis­as­ter man­age­ment au­thor­i­ties­said five peo­ple had been killed, four of them crushed by fall­ing trees in the area.

Some of the worst dam­age was at camps hous­ing the 300,000 Ro­hingya refugees liv­ing here, many of them in flimsy huts.

The lo­cal head of the In­ter­na­tional Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Mi­gra­tion, which co­or­di­nates re­lief for the refugees, said the bulk of the homes at one camp had their roofs blown off.

“At Ku­tu­pa­long camp, Ro­hingya peo­ple have started re­pair­ing their houses.”

Ku­tu­pa­long houses nearly 14,000 reg­is­tered refugees, al­though many re­cent ar­rivals who lack of­fi­cial refugee sta­tus are also said to be liv­ing there.

Com­mu­nity lead­ers said there had been no at­tempt to evac­u­ate un­doc­u­mented Ro­hingya, al­though those with of­fi­cial refugee sta­tus were alerted about the dan­gers.

Ab­dul Salam, a Ro­hingya com­mu­nity leader, said 20,000 homes had been dam­aged and some res­i­dents in­jured.

Away from the camps, authorities had evac­u­ated 600,000 peo­ple to cy­clone shel­ters, schools and of­fices af­ter rais­ing the high­est num­ber 10 weather danger alert.

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