Bangladesh rescuers battle to reach victims
CHITTAGONG, BangladeshRescue workers were battling yesterday to reach remote areas of Bangladesh hit by landslides and heavy rains that have killed at least 137 people, with dozens more missing.
Authorities say hundreds of hillside homes were buried by landslides in the southeast of the country as people slept in the early hours of June 13.
The landslides were triggered by heavy monsoon rains, with 343 millimeters of rain falling on the area on June 12. Firefighters in the worst-hit district of Rangamati said they had pulled 18 people out from under the mud on June 13, but hopes of finding more survivors were fading as the hours went by. “People called us from several places saying people had been buried. But we did not have enough men to send,” said Didarul Alam, fire services chief for Rangamati district.
“We have been unable to reach some of the more remote places due to the rain. Even in those places we have reached, we have been unable to recover all the bodies.”
A survivor told how she and her family sought shelter at a neighbor’s house after their home collapsed, only to be hit by a second landslide. “A few other families also took shelter there, but just after dawn a section of hill fell on the house. Six people are still missing,” Khatiza Begum said.