The Bangladeshi authorities raised the death toll to 21 on Saturdayincluding six Rohingya refugees, in the southern district of Cox’s Bazar after a week of heavy rains that have affected the camps where the persecuted Burmese ethnic minority resides.
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The rains have also caused thousands of displaced people and numerous damage to infrastructures.
At least 518 towns have been affected by floods and landslides caused by torrential rains, Teknaf district administrator Mamunur Rashid told Efe, confirming the toll.
Mohammad Mamun, an employee of a local NGO in Rangikhali, added to Efe that the rains have also caused damage to homes and roads.
“Most of the houses in the area are made of mud and have been damaged. The water level has started to drop today but the situation is still very precarious, “he said.
Some 3,800 homes housing more than 21,000 Rohingya refugees have also been destroyed or damaged, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement today.
More than 13,000 refugees have been displaced by the rainsUNHCR added, warning that the rains will continue in the coming days.
The UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in early July that it was assessing the risk of landslides, strengthening drainage networks, installing slope protection measures and improving key roads.
The IOM also assured that, together with other humanitarian organizations, has worked on the training and equipping of ten mobile medical teams and 350 community health workers to act as first responders, while eleven ambulances would be ready for any emergency.
At least 738,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since August 25, 2017 due to the wave of violence unleashed in Burma, where the Army carried out a military campaign in response to an attack by a group of Rohingya insurgents against police posts.
This military operation by Burmese forces has been listed by the Alto UN Commissioner for Human Rights as a “book case of ethnic cleansing.”