At least five people, including four siblings, died and two others were injured in landslides triggered by heavy rains in Cox’s Bazar town and Ramu Upazila.
Md Shafayet Hossain, assistant director of Cox’s Bazar Fire Service, confirmed the deaths.
The four children killed in Cox’s Bazar town were identified as Abdul Hai, 6, Khairunnesa, 8, Kafia Akter, 10, and Morzia Akter, 15.
Their mother Chhenuara Begum was also injured in the incident and father Jamal Hossain is a migrant worker based in Malaysia.
Another child was identified as six-year-old Morshed Alam, son of Zagir Hossain of Panirchhara in Ramu.
It has been raining for the last three days in coastal areas, including Cox’s Bazar. The Met office warned of possible landslides due to the downpour.
Jamal’s family lived in a hillside house. The four siblings were asleep and their mother Chhenuara was reciting the Quran near the front door when the landslide struck the house, fire service official Shafayet said citing the family. Chhenuara was also injured in the incident.
Rescuers pulled the four children unconscious from a pile of mud and took them to Cox’s Bazar General Hospital, where they were declared dead, said Shafayet.
In Ramu, a landslide trapped Morshed, son of Jagir Hossain, in their house. Jagir was also injured during his struggle to save his son.
Locals joined the family members in their effort to retrieve the body before firemen reached the spot, said Shafayet. An indiscriminate logging of trees and digging of hills have caused landslides that claimed many lives in the hill tracts in the last few years.
On top of that, an influx of more than 700,000 Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar has increased the risk of landslides as a large swathe of forestland has been allocated for the refugees.
At least 156 persons were killed in June 2017 in Chattogram, Rangamati, Bandarban, Cox’s Bazar, Khagrachhari and Moulvibazar due to heavy rain.
Cox’s Bazar Correspondent