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Landslides, rain kill at least 40 in Bangladesh

By Ed Adamczyk
Landslides, rain kill at least 40 in Bangladesh
At least 40 people are dead after landslides, triggered by monsoon rains, struck southeastern Bangladesh on Tuesday. Most of the deaths reported were in the hill areas around the cities of Dhaka and Chittagong. Image courtesy of Google Maps

June 13 (UPI) -- Landslides triggered by monsoon rains killed at least 40 people in southeastern Bangladesh, disaster management authorities said Tuesday.

The casualty count climbed progressively through the day. At least two military officers of the Bangladesh army died working in rescue operations when another landslide buried them in the Rangamati region, civil surgeon Dr. Shahid Talukder said.

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An all-day rainstorm Monday prompted the landslides in the hilly areas near Dhaka, the capital, and Chittagong, Bangladesh's major port city. Traffic in those cities was disrupted by the rains.

The country's army, fire service, civil defense and police are jointly conducting rescue operations, the Daily Star reported. Communication was cut off in several districts, notably in the remote hill regions around Chittagong.

Deaths by drowning, lightning strikes, electrocution and wall collapses in districts near Chittagong were reported by Executive Magistrate Tawhidul Islam. Many people are missing across the southeastern part of the country.

The heavy rain Tuesday was caused by a tropical depression on the Bay of Bengal, bringing rain to all parts of Bangladesh. In May, up to 1 million people were evacuated in the area most affected by Tuesday's rains when Cyclone Mora struck; at least eight people died and thousands of homes were destroyed.

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In 2007, landslides caused by a monsoon killed about 130 people in the Chittagong area.

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