Days of intense monsoon rains in Bangladesh, some of the heaviest in years, have set off a series flash floods and landslides, killing at least 100 people and stranding nearly 250,000, police and officials said on Wednesday.
Reuters writes that the landslides occurred mainly in remote villages with poor roads, making rescue efforts by Army, police and fire brigade personnel more difficult.
“We’ve recovered 95 bodies so far, and the death toll may go up as many people, as claimed by the relatives, are still missing,” Divisional Commissioner of Chittagong Mohammad Serajul Huq Khan said.
Khan, who serves as the administrative chief of all districts in Chittagong region, said that even with the multitude of obstructions caused by the floods rescuers from the army, police and fire services are assisting in the operations, which were taking place in many of the affected areas.
“Most of the people died in landslides, while drowning and lightning were the other causes of death,” Khan said. “So far, 22 bodies have been recovered in Chittagong, 37 in Cox’s Bazar and 33 in Bandarban.”
In addition to the fatalities caused by the floods and landslides, disaster control officials said about 150,000 people had been marooned by the floods in the southeast while 50,000 were stranded in Sylhet.
About 50,000 were reported stranded in their flooded homes in the northern districts of Gaibandha and Kurigram.
“We’re marooned even in the city…. Most of the roads are under water, and in some places, it is waist-deep,” said Abdul Momen, a businessman in Chittagong.
According to the Washington Post, Bangladeshi officials fear the number of dead could rise well beyond 100 and that the downpour could persist until the end of the week.
The following video by a Bengali news station depicts the severe flooding, which has consumed much of southeastern Bangladesh.