Destruction, debris mar Bangladesh mudslide rescue; 140 dead

Bangladesh Heavy rains kill at least 35

Bangladesh Heavy rains kill at least 35

More than 130 people were killed in landslides triggered by torrential rain in Bangladesh on Tuesday, local media reported Wednesday as the death toll continues to rise.

Bangladesh, a delta nation of 160 million people, is prone to natural disasters such as cyclones, floods and landslides.

Rescuers went from door to door searching for information on people who might be missing Wednesday after massive landslides crashed onto villages and killed at least 140 in southeastern Bangladesh, officials said.

Rescue operations resumed Wednesday morning after a pause Tuesday evening due to bad weather conditions but the Bangladesh meteorological office has again forecast heavy rains in the region.

With at least 20 landslides hitting it, southeastern Rangamati hill district was worst affected and resulted in 99 deaths, including four army personnel who were doing rescue operations.

The landslides triggered by the monsoon rains came two weeks after Cyclone Mora hit Bangladesh, leaving eight people dead and damaging hundreds of homes.

"People called us from several places saying people had been buried".

An Army statement said Major Mohammad Fazlul Haque, Captain Tanvir Salam Shanta, Corporal Mohammad Azizul Haque and soldier Md Shahin Alam were killed while trying to restore road communications.

Persistent, heavy monsoon rain since Sunday June 11 has led to flooding and landslides in southeastern Bangladesh and northeastern India.

Officials say the number of deaths is likely to increase as scores are still missing and many are hurt.

Numerous victims were from tribal communities in the remote hill district of Rangamati, close to the Indian border, where 98 people were killed when mudslides buried their homes.

The rescuers pulled bodies of at least 105 people in the worst affected Rangamati followed by 36 in Chittagong and six others in Bandarban after the region experience heavy rain until Tuesday, he added.

Numerous victims were from poor tribal communities in the remote hill district of Rangamati, close to the Indian border, where mudslides buried hundreds of homes.

"The soldiers were sent to clear roads hit by a landslide in Manikchhari town when they were buried by a second landslide", armed forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Rashidul Hassan said.

Mizoram authorities had recovered nine bodies and around seven people were still missing, the state's urban development and poverty alleviation minister said. Officials said many people were asleep when the tragedy hit, causing more casualties especially among children.