Thousands marooned by heavy rains in Bangladesh
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CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (AFP) — At least 20 people have died and more than 20,000 left marooned as heavy rains over the past week triggered landslides and floods in southeast Bangladesh, an official said Sunday.
Three landslides caused by torrential monsoon rains killed 10 people while six others drowned in swirling flood waters in southeastern Cox's Bazar district, said chief administrator Sajjadul Hasan.
Four more people died in another landslide in the country's southeastern town of Teknaf on Sunday morning after their tin shack was buried under falling earth, he said.
"We have promptly taken steps to shift hundreds of people living at the slope of hills to safer places as it has become very risky due to days of incessant heavy rains," he said.
Heavy rains since last week has also triggered flash floods in Cox's Bazar district, which is home to the world's largest unbroken beach.
"Low-lying areas in the districts have gone under four-five feet (1.3-1.7 metres of) flood water, stranding over 20,000 people," Hasan said.
Several rivers in the southeastern hill districts burst their banks and caused the floods, officials said.
Bangladesh, which is criss-crossed by over 200 rivers, was hit by major floods last year, when water fed by melting glaciers in the Himalayas and heavy rains inundated more than 40 percent of the land.
More than a thousand people were killed in the floods, which left millions more homeless and damage to infrastructure and property was worth over a billion dollars.