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Rescue called off as Bangladesh landslide death toll rises to 114

Publication Date : 29-06-2012


With 18 deaths reported yesterday, the death toll in landslides, drowning and lightning following heavy rainfall in three southeastern districts of Bangladesh rose to 114.

Seeing no possibility of further recovery, rescuers yesterday stopped their search for people missing or trapped after floods and landslides swept Cox's Bazar, Chittagong and Bandarban districts, officials said.

Flight operations at Shah Amanat International Airport in Chittagong resumed in the morning after a 36-hour halt due to waterlogging.

Dhaka-Chittagong train services were restored with the Chandpur-bound Meghna Express leaving the port city at 7:00 p.m. A bridge collapse at Bhatiari in Chittagong had snapped the rail communications on Tuesday.

Including the 18, the death toll was 46 in Cox's Bazar, 32 in Chittagong and 36 in Bandarban as of 5:00 p.m. yesterday, said Wazed Ali, additional secretary of the food and disaster management ministry.

Tashfiq and Shamim, two five-year-olds from Phulchhari village at Chakaria upazila, and Zobaer, 6, of Nandipar village at Pekua upazila were among those killed yesterday.

Also yesterday, four bodies were recovered in the river Bakkhali at Ramu upazila and another near the sea beach in Himchhari area. Rescuers said the five might have been killed in landslides or drowning on Wednesday night.

A rescue team found the body of Hasna Banu, 30, in the morning form the debris of Yasin Colony that collapsed in the Tuesday evening landslide due to torrential downpour, our Chittagong correspondents report.

The waterlogging in the port city has eased two days after a record rainfall caused unprecedented inundation throughout the region.

With water receding from the streets, city dwellers got back to their daily routine and offices, shops, businesses, industrial units and educational institutions started functioning. Chittagong Port also came back to life.

However, a tidal surge from the river Karnaphuli might again trigger waterlogging, said Saifuddin Ahmad Saki, public relations officer of Chittagong City Corporation.

No rain or run-off from the hills was reported at Chakaria upazila yesterday. The level of water, which had submerged houses, shops and other establishments, started to fall.

Around 1,500 people of the upazila were marooned and 300 houses were destroyed after the heavy water flow on Tuesday had damaged a 200-foot dam.

Talking to The Daily Star, Additional Secretary Wazed Ali said there was no report of any death from Bandarban yesterday and the situation was improving there.

The government has allocated 12.5 million taka (US$152,755) and 1,950 tonnes of rice in aid for the victims.

The deputy commissioners of the crisis-torn districts have been instructed to report to the food and disaster management ministry after assessing the needs of the affected people, Wazed Ali said.

The ministry and the National Disaster Response Coordination Centre will remain open even on weekends, he said.

A food ministry press release said Asit Kumar Mukut Moni, additional secretary of Disaster Management and Relief Division, will remain posted in Chittagong to coordinate relief work.

Three directors and two deputy directors of the relief and rehabilitation department have been sent to Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Bandarban, Sylhet and Sunamganj to assist the local administration.


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