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Mudslide kills 6 in Rohingya camps

Published : 27 Jul 2021 09:33 PM | Updated : 28 Jul 2021 01:07 AM

Six Rohingya refugees were killed in the Ukhiya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar as heavy rains caused mud-walls to collapse and bury them instantly. Five others were also injured in the same incident on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, two more deaths were also reported as they drowned in the onrush of the flood waters in the villages where thousands of people are moving out to take safe shelters.

Officials said that the landslide, caused by the heavy rush of rainwaters, destroyed hundreds of homes in the Rohingya camps. The sea in Bay of Bengal is also very rough due to a low pressure created in the Bay. Villages in 15 unions have been flooded causing hundreds of people to flee their makeshift homes. Meanwhile, loud speaker announcement is going on in fear of fresh landslides. Fishing boats have been warned not to go in the sea at this time. 

Rains have continued over Cox's Bazar district for the last few days. Due to the heavy rains, landslide occurred at Camp number 10 in Balukhali, Ukhia at around 11am on Tuesday. 

The deceased have been identified as Dil Bahar (42), wife of Shah Alam of G-37 block of Balukhali Camp-10, his child Shafiul Alam (9), Gul Bahar (25), wife of Mohammad Yusuf of G-36 block and his two-and-a-half-month-old child Abdur Rahman. And his daughter Ayesha Siddique (1). A child named Sadeka drowned in the same camp. 

“Five more people, including women and children, were injured in a landslide at a Rohingya refugee camp,” said SP Tariqul Islam, commander of the 17th Armed Police Battalion (APBN). He said, “They were treated at the Teknaf Upazila Health Complex.”

Shamsuddoza Nayan, additional commissioner at the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Office, said, “Everything have been arranged, including arrangements for the burial of the dead. Measures are being taken to repair the damaged houses.”

Several houses in six camps of 34 Rohingya camps in Ukhia-Teknaf in Cox's Bazar have been submerged due to continuous rains since Tuesday morning. Some Rohingya boatmen have said that the Rohingyas of these settlements have been flooded due to the continuous rains.

The flooded camps are Kutupalong Camp-5, Balukhali Camp No. 1, Teknaf Camp No. 27, Jamtali Camp, Hakimpara Camp No. 24, Camp No. 27 and Madhuchhara Camp.

Teknaf Upazila Parishad Chairman Mohammad Alam said, “An old man named Rakib Ali, 55, died when the wall of a mud house collapsed in Monir Ghona area of Ward No. 1 of Huaikeng Union in Teknaf on Tuesday afternoon. He is the son of late Ali Ahmed of Monirghona area in Ward No. 1 of Huaikeng Union.”

Maheshkhali Upazila Nirbahi Officer, Mahfuzur Rahman said, “Morsheda Begum, 16, daughter of Ansar Hossain of Uttar Sepahipara village in Chhota Maheshkhali Union of Maheshkhali Upazila, was crushed to death by heavy rains on Tuesday morning.”

Meanwhile, the flood situation in the areas is highly concerning as flood water continues to threaten local residents. Residents of Eidgaon, Teknaf, Ukhia, Chakaria, Pekua and 15 unions of Maheshkhali in Cox's Bazar are suffering where most of thei homes are submerged. 

Cox's Bazar Sadar Upazila Parishad Chairman, Kaysarul Haque Jewel said residents of several unions in the newly announced new upazila of Eidgaon are in poor condition. He also said that people of some unions in Cox's Bazar Sadar are facing waterlogging.

Pradeep Kumar Goswami, executive engineer of the Cox's Bazar Water Development Board, said water from the Bankkhali River was still flowing just below the danger level due to excavation. Several areas, including Ramu, have remained flood-free for the past three years due to the dredging of the river.

Meteorologist Abdur Rahman of the Cox's Bazar Meteorological Office said that due to low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, Cox's Bazar, Chittagong Mongla and Payra seaports have been asked to display local warning signal number 3. He added that there is a possibility of rain for two more days as well as the risk of landslides. The Cox's Bazar Meteorological Office has recorded 134 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours.

Cox's Bazar Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Mamunur Rashid said the government have provided financial assistance for the burial of the families of the victims. Miking is being done in areas at risk of landslides due to heavy rains. Self-governing Upazila Nirbahi Officers have been instructed to continue public announcements in their areas about taking safe shelters.