December 14, 2017
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Death toll from Bangladesh landslides climbs to 163

Dhaka, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- At least five people died Sunday in fresh landslides in Bangladesh, raising the death toll to 163 from heavy monsoon rains that have been lashing the country for a week.

Three children died in the district of Khagrachhari and another woman and her daughter died in Moulvibazar, officials confirmed to EFE.

Khagrachhari's police superintendent, Ali Ahmed Khan, said two children were buried in a mudslide that hit the room of their house they were sleeping in, located in Ramgar town, after rainfall intensified Saturday night.

Their parents, who were sleeping in a different room, were unharmed.

Moulvibazar Police Superintendent Mohammad Shahjalal said a 40-year-old woman and her 13-year-old daughter also died after their house collapsed under the mud.

With the new fatalities, the death toll since last Tuesday has risen to 163 in the country, in what the government has described as the worst landslides in history.

Manzurul Mannan, deputy commissioner of Rangamati, the district worst affected by the catastrophe, said two more bodies were recovered Saturday, pushing the number of dead in the district to 113.

Incessant rains continue to keep people under the threat of new landslides, causing many to return to the 17 shelters that have been kept open since Tuesday due to the risk facing people in their homes.

"Some had left the shelters but are returning, our people with loudspeakers in hand are calling them to return," said Mannan.

The rains began last Sunday but intensified Tuesday and Wednesday, when 343 millimeters were recorded in Rangamati.

The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) on Sunday recorded 68 millimeters of rain in just six hours in Rangamati, according to the body's local spokesperson Arif Hossain.

The Ministry of Disaster Management is distributing aid to victims and assessing the damage to affected areas.

The districts of southern Bangladesh usually suffer the effects of monsoons and tropical cyclones at this time of year, which has often resulted in catastrophes that have claimed many lives, despite government attempts to regulate the construction and placement of houses.

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