350 000 moved as cy­clone hits refugees in Bangladesh

The Witness - - NEWS -

COX’S B AZAR (Bangl adesh) —A c yclone bat­tered r efugee c amps in Bangl adesh yes­ter­day wher e hundr eds o f thou­sands of R ohingya Mus­lims fr om My an­mar have tak en r efuge fr om viol ence at home, as au­thor­i­tie s mo ved at l east 350 000 Bangl adeshis out o f harm ’s way.

Cy­clone Mor a s truck the isl and o f Saint Martin and T ek­naf in the c oastal Bangladeshi dis trict o f Co x’s Baz ar, where o ffi­cials said s ome 200 000 peo­ple w ere e vac­u­ated t o shel ters. In Chit tagong dis trict, about 150 000 peopl e were e vac­u­ated.

The bor der ar ea is als o home to r efugee c amps f or R ohingyas who ha ve fled their homel and in northw est My an­mar.

Sham­sul Al am, a R ohingya c om­mu­nity l eader, t old R eu­ters that damag e in the c amps w as s evere, with almo st all the 10 000 that ched hut s in the Balukhali and K utu­pa­long c amps de stroyed.

Cox’s Baz ar dis trict chie f Mohammad Ali Hussin said at l east 15 000 hous es in the dis trict had been de stroyed and he had unc on­firmed r eports o f thr ee peo­ple kill ed and do zens in­jur ed, in­clud­ing s ev­eral R ohingya r efugees.

Of­fi­cials in Chit tagong r eported winds g ust­ing up t o 1 35 km/h, and said low­ly­ing c oastal ar eas w ere fl ooded b y as torm sur ge with w aves t wo me tres high.

Last Oc tober, f ol­low­ing a My an­mar army oper ation l aunched in r esponse t o in­sur­gent at tacks, an e sti­mated 74 000 Ro­hingyas fl ed t o Bangl adesh wher e they joined mor e than 200 000 who have tak en r efuge ther e o ver the y ears.

— R eu­ters.

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