Residents of Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong and hill districts are at risk
At least 14 people, including eight children, have been killed in Cox’s Bazar and Khagrachhari landslides and floods caused by heavy rains on Wednesday.
Local authorities in Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong and the three hill districts are busy evacuating people living at the foot of the hills and low-lying areas to prevent loss of lives.
Road communication has also been snapped in many areas due to the floods, which have also damaged croplands and shrimp farms of vast areas in the affected areas.
The flood situation may worsen in the next few days due to a low, formed in the Bay of Bengal.
On Tuesday, massive portions of hills collapsed at the Balukhali Rohingya camp in Ukhiya, Maheshkhali and Teknaf of Cox's Bazar, killing eight persons, including six Rohingyas.
Of the latest fatalities, five members of a family were killed in a landslide at Hneela of Teknaf upazila early Wednesday.
The deceased are Abdu Shukkur, 16, Mohammad Zubair, 12, Abdur Rahim, 5, Kohinur Akhter, 9, and Zainaba Akhter, 8. They are the children of Syed Alam, a resident of Pahari Gram Vilejar Para of Ward No 4 in Hneela union.
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Teknaf police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Hafizur Rahman confirmed the deaths.
In response to the deaths from landslides, the district administration of Cox's Bazar has started evacuating residents at risk.
In a separate incident, a 90-year-old man named Ali Hossain from Maheshkhali upazila died after a hill collapsed on his house.
The incident occurred in Ghona area of South Rajuar under Hoanak union at around 2am, according to local UP Member Abu Bakar.
He said: “Two days of torrential rains triggered a landslide that buried Ali Hossain's house. While other members of the house managed to get to safety, the aged Ali got trapped inside and died on the spot.”
In Ukhiya, three other people were killed in floods in separate incidents on Wednesday.
Abdur Rahman, 45, died while crossing the Chuakhola Canal under Palongkhali union at around 10am.
The body of Ali Akbar, 40, was found at the Machhkaria Canal at around noon, UP Member of Ward No 9 Helal Uddin said.
Palongkhali UP Chairman Jahangir Kabir said that Md Rubel, 22, went missing while swimming in the Duchhri Canal at 10am. His body was found near Rumkha Kulal Para around 3pm.
Two more people died in floods at Ghumdhum of Naikhongchhari in Khagrachhari district yesterday, said Inspector Delwar Hossain of Ghumdum police outpost.
The deceased are Ashish Barua, 16, son of Subash Barua from Shilpara village, and Abdur Rahim, 28, a Rohingya from the same area.
Meanwhile, three people, including a teenager, went missing while fishing in the Eidgah Canal near an under-construction bridge under Eidgah Upazila at 11:30pm.
They are Shahjahan Shah’s sons Faruq, 28, Delwar, 15; and his grandson Morshed, 7.
On receiving information, firefighters conducted rescue drives in the area and recovered their bodies at around 6pm, said Soumen Bishwas, chief of Ramu Fire Station.
Worse situation feared
The Met Office yesterday asked the maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Mongla and Payra to hoist local cautionary Signal No 3 as the low pressure over the North Bay turned into a well-marked low.
Due to the low, light to moderate rain or thundershowers may occur at most places over Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka and Sylhet divisions and at many places over Rangpur and Mymensingh divisions.
In Bandarban, the rise in the water levels of Sangu and Matamuhuri rivers caused by continuous heavy rains worsened the flood situation in the district’s Lama and Alikadam upazilas.
Road communication between the two upazilas and the rest of the district remained suspended due to the floods. On the other hand, floodwaters receded from Naikhongchhari upazila.
Locals are now in constant fear of landslides in the hill district.
Loudspeaker announcements are being made in disaster-prone areas to help evacuate people from the risky hilly areas to shelters.
Residents of the district express concern as the incessant rainfall coupled with the ongoing pandemic-induced strict lockdown has made their lives miserable.
Lama Municipality Mayor Md Zahirul Islam said that they had formed a committee to monitor the flood situation round the clock and arranged boats to carry the flood-affected people to safety.
“Relief materials have been distributed among the flood-hit families in the low-lying areas,” Alikadam UNO Md Syed Ikbal said, adding that farmers facing losses would be given aid.
Evacuation drive in Chittagong city
About 310 members of 92 families living in different parts of the city were evacuated yesterday due to fears of landslides.
The Chittagong district administration on Tuesday night evacuated people living at the foothills of Khulshi and Bayezid areas of the city to the four shelters of the city – Al Hera Madrasa, Raufabad Rashidia Madrasa, Firoz Shah Primary School and Lalkhan Bazar Primary School.
Besides, 20 risky installations were evicted.
Chittagong Hill Tracts Management Committee Member Secretary and Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Nazmul Ahsan led the eviction and relocation to shelters along with six assistant commissioners (land) of the city.
Nazmul Ahsan said: “We brought 92 families to three shelters in the night. Later, more than 105 people were brought to Feroz Shah Primary School in the city. Meals and first aid have been arranged for them.”
Meanwhile, 17 voluntary organizations were carrying out campaigns to ask residents at risk to evacuate their houses.