At least 74 people, including four Army men, have been killed in massive landslides in Chittagong early on Tuesday, followed by Monday’s day-long downpour that has paralysed most of Bangladesh.
At least 50 people died in Rangamati district of Chittagong Hill Tracts, while Chittagong and Bandarban districts saw 18 and six deaths. The rescuers fear that the number of casualties might rise once the debris are cleared .
The army personnel were killed when they were conducting a rescue operation in Rangamati, according to the Inter Services Public Relation Directorate (ISPR).
One soldier was still missing while 10 have suffered injuries in the incident that occurred near an army camp at Manikchari at 9am on Tuesday.
“They were working to clear the Chittagong-Rangamati Highway blocked by mud from earlier landslides when another one hit them,” a Chittagong police officer said.
Lt. Col. Rashidul Hasan, director of ISPR, said the injured were receiving first aid, but authorities were yet to reach the spot as road links were snapped following the landslides.
Members of the fire service, army and police are conducting rescue operations. District administrations have asked the people living in risky hill areas to move to safer places.
Heavy rains in the districts caused by the low pressure system in the Bay of Bengal led to the landslides, said officials. Roads and power lines have also been cut off in several areas. The roads connecting Chittagong to Rangamati, Bandarban and Cox’s Bazar were snapped as water rushed downhill.