350 000 moved as cyclone hits refugees in Bangladesh
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.