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Heavy rains, landslides kill at least 77 in Bangladesh

Jun 13. 2017
Bangladeshi fire fighters and residents search for bodies after a landslide in Bandarban on July 13, 2017.  // AFP PHOTO
Bangladeshi fire fighters and residents search for bodies after a landslide in Bandarban on July 13, 2017. // AFP PHOTO
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By AFP

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CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh, June 13, 2017 - Heavy monsoon rains and landslides have killed at least 77 people in southeast Bangladesh, burying many in their homes as they slept, authorities said Tuesday.

Three young children from the same family were among those killed in the disaster, which comes just weeks after a cyclone battered the area, destroying camps housing thousands of Rohingya refugees.

Police warned that the death toll would likely rise as emergency workers reached remote parts of the Chittagong Hills, where telephone and transport links had been cut.

"The recovery work is still going on. The death toll could rise as many areas still remained cut off," the head of the Department of Disaster Management Reaz Ahmed told AFP. 

Many of the victims were from poor tribal communities in the remote hill district of Rangamati, close to the Indian border, where 48 people were killed when mudslides buried their homes.

"Some of them were sleeping in their houses on hillsides when the landslides occurred," district police chief Sayed Tariqul Hasan told AFP.

"We've evacuated some of the affected villagers to schools and other safe places." 

    Police also ordered the evacuation of thousands of people living in slums at the base of hills in the neighbouring district of Chittagong, where 23 people have been confirmed dead.

At least 126 people were killed in that district when a massive landslide buried a village a decade ago.

Six were killed in the nearby district of Bandarban, among them three children who were buried by a landslide as they slept in their home.

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