Thousands evacuated as floods struck Rohingya camp in Bangladesh

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The UN and other officials said on Friday that heavy monsoon rains caused landslides and flash floods in refugee camps, expelling thousands of Rohingya Muslims in southeastern Bangladesh.

District manager Mamunur Rashid said at least six Rohingya, including three children, died in landslides and floods, 15 Bangladeshi people died in floods at Cox’s Bazar, and more than 200,000 were stranded. rice field.

Nearly one million Rohingya live in a crowded camp on the border of Cox’s Bazar, the world’s largest refugee settlement, after fleeing military crackdowns in neighboring Myanmar in 2017.

Refugees mainly live in huts made of bamboo and plastic sheets that cling to steep bare hills. Television footage showed the house flooded and muddy water flowing down the stairs and hillsides. The children played in the chest-high sea.

“This is a nightmare,” said Rohingya Rokeya Begum. “I haven’t seen such a flood in the camp for four years. When the water came, no one helped my house. I was alone, but my belongings are safer. I was able to take it to the place. Now I am with another family. “

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said more than 21,000 refugees were “affected” by the floods and nearly 4,000 shelters were damaged or destroyed.

Thousands of facilities, including clinics and toilets, were damaged while more than 13,000 people were forced to relocate to the camp. Access is blocked by damage to roads, paths and bridges.

And floods can get worse.

Manuel Marquez Pereira, Deputy Chief of Mission to Bangladesh, the United Nations International Organization for Migration, said:

Refugees said landslides and floods left homes “fully covered in mud”, as many were still recovering from the massive fire that struck the camp in March.

“For some reason my family was able to evacuate,” said Abu Sidik, who lives in the Barkari refugee camp. “Mud that came down from the hill came into my house … all our belongings inside are covered with mud.”

Luma Paul

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