Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mudslide in southeastern Bangladesh kills 15

The bodies of at least 15 people, including women and children, were recovered Friday after hours of steady downpours triggered a mudslide at Batali Hill in Chittagong, in southeastern Bangladesh, the state-run news agency said.

Six homes were buried under thick mud after a retaining wall collapsed, according to the Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency. Two victims were taken to an area hospital after being pulled from the muck.

"We are equipped with necessary equipment, but the scene of the landslide appeared difficult to operate the machines," an army officer told reporters. BSS reported that, hours before the mudslide, Chittagong Mayor Mohammad Monjur Alam had visited the area, seen the hillside shanties and warned residents to take shelter.

Some people wept and others waited anxiously as workers used pickaxes and shovels in search of more victims in the mud.

Over the past decade, officials said, landslides have killed 500 people in greater Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Continuing monsoon rainfall led authorities to warn hillside residents of Chittagong, Rangamati, Teknaf and Cox's Bazar to prepare for the possibility of more landslides.

CNNI Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera said more heavy rain was expected Saturday. (Source)