At least 21 people have died in devastating flash floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains that lashed south-eastern hilly districts of Bangladesh, officials said on Sunday.
Tens of thousands of people were marooned on higher ground as flood waters submerged areas around Cox’s Bazar and the hilly district of Bandarban, Xinhua reported.
Police confirmed that 21 bodies were recovered from a river on Sunday.
In 2012, at least 88 people were killed in devastating landslides caused by heavy rains in Bangladesh’s two southeastern districts, Cox’s Bazaar and Bandarban.
Earlier in June 2007, some 123 people were killed in a devastating landslide in Bangladesh’s southeastern Chittagong district.
Bangladesh – one of the world’s most densely populated countries – is highly vulnerable to natural disasters, including cyclones, droughts, floods and earthquakes.
India, Bangladesh and China are most at risk from river floods, with an increasing number of people threatened because of climate change and economic growth in low-lying regions, a study said in March.
Dhaka, October 22, 2017 : India on Sunday said Rohingya refugees who have poured into Bangladesh must be taken back by Myanmar from where they have been displaced.
“Normalcy will only be restored with the return of the displaced persons to Rakhine state,” Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said at a media meet also attended by her Bangladeshi counterpart Abula Hassan Mahmood Ali.
This followed the fourth India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Committee meeting.
Sushma Swaraj did not use the word Rohingya to refer to the thousands who have taken shelter in Bangladesh and instead referred to them as displaced persons from Rakhine state, bdnews24.com reported.
She said India was “deeply concerned at the spate of violence in Rakhine state of Myanmar”.
According to latest figures from the UN office in Bangladesh, over 600,000 refugees have entered the country since August 25 after the Myanmar Army cracked down on the Rohingyas after a series of attacks on security personnel in Rakhine.
Bangladesh Minister Ali said India was urged to contribute towards exerting sustained pressure on Myanmar to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, including return of Rohingyas to their homeland. (IANS)
Sep 21, 2017: Facebook is reportedly removing posts and suspending accounts of activists who are documenting the “ethnic cleansing” of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, Daily Beast has reported.
The activists said their accounts are frequently being suspended or taken down and hoped that the social media giant would let them speak the truth.
Myanmar considers the Rohingyas illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, whereas Bangladesh considers them Myanmar citizens.
The Myanmar government does not use the term “Rohingya” and does not recognise the people as an official ethnicity, which means they are denied citizenship and effectively rendered stateless.
“We want Facebook to be a place where people can share responsibly and we work hard to strike the right balance between enabling expression while providing a safe and respectful experience,” Facebook spokesperson Ruchika Budhraja told Daily Beast on Wednesday.
“In response to the situation in Myanmar, we are carefully reviewing content against our Community Standards,” Budhraja added.
Besides repeatedly disabling his accounts, an activist who uses the name Rahim said Facebook has also removed individual posts he put on the site about Rohingya refugees.
“We removed this content because it doesn’t follow the Facebook Community Standards,” read a message from Facebook.
There are several such examples being reported across Myanmar.
After revealing that fake Russian accounts bought nearly $100,000 of political ads during the 2016 US presidential election campaign on its platform, Facebook has handed over more details to American Special Counsel Robert Mueller. (IANS)
Floods in India, Nepal and Bangladesh have claimed more than 1,300 lives in the last two months
According to UNICEF, over 16 million children in the three countries are in urgent need of life-saving support
Persistent rainfall has damaged school infrastructure, apart from depriving children of safe places to stay at, and necessities like drinking water and food
New Delhi, September 4, 2017 : Hurricane Harvey created havoc in Houston in August, claiming 15 lives and displacing tens of thousands of people. The event was largely covered by national and international media alike, keeping people abreast with the latest updates. However, the floods in South Asia, which are equally devastating, are yet to receive due coverage from international media. According to data released by UNICEF, the unusually heavy monsoon over the last several weeks has claimed more than 1,300 lives across India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
In its entirety, over 45 million people have suffered the direct impact of the rains and its resulting floods.
For over two months, incessant rains have submerged numerous villages thereby forcing vast numbers of people into evacuation centers and relief camps.
According to a UN Agency report, over 16 million children residing in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh are in dire need of life-saving support due to weeks of torrential monsoons that have given rise to ‘catastrophic’ floods in the three South Asian countries.
UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia, Jean Gough noted that millions of children have already been affected by these devastating floods as incessant rains continue to pose potential threat. “Children have lost their homes, schools, and even friends and loved ones. There is a danger the worst could still be to come as rains continue and flood waters move south,” she added, according to a report by PTI.
According to official figures, at least 1,288 deaths have been reported since mid-August.
Gough believes the persistent rainfall and the resulting water accumulation have damaged school infrastructure among other things which will hamper children from attending classes for weeks, or even months. According to her, “Getting children back into school is absolutely critical in establishing a sense of stability for children during times of crisis and provides a sense of normality when everything else is being turned upside down”
Among other urgent needs of these children are clean drinking water, sufficient food supplies, hygiene supplies to control and combat the spread of potential diseases and safe evacuation places for the children to stay at, study and play.
According to a report by PTI, in the northern part of the country, over 31 million people have been affected in four states due to the extensive flooding. Out of this, 12.33 million sufferers are believed to be children.
The tally of houses damaged by the floods has reached 805,183 while 15,455 schools have been damaged, that has disrupted the education of children.
Additionally, the heavy downpour in Mumbai has already claimed five deaths due to drowning while twelve people, including two children have died due to the collapse of a building.
More than 8 million people are reported to have been hit by the floods in Bangladesh, out of which 3 million are allegedly children. Primary and community educational institutions across the country have been terribly hit with as many as 2,292 schools reportedly damaged by the high water.
The country has also reported over 13,035 cases of water-borne diseases.
Devastation from floods in Nepal
Floods in Nepal have displaced 352,738 people from their homes, thus, affecting over 1.7 million people. The water has reportedly surfaced to dangerous levels, to escape which people are making use of makeshift rafts and elephants for rescue operations.
According to a report by PTI, damage to nearly 1,958 schools has affected the education of over 253,605 children.
Major media giants across the world are pledging their support to help combat the scale of destruction.
In a blog post, Google Vice-President of South East Asia and India wrote, “We are committing $1 million from Google.org and Google employees to Goonj and Save the Children for their relief efforts.”
The NGO, Goonj aims to offer assistance to over 75,000 affected families across India and provide them with basic needs like food, blankets and hygiene supply while on the other hand, Save the Children is focused on setting up child-friendly public spaces for the children to have access to educational material.
Similar organizations have taken up an active role to help rebuild infrastructure for the community like roads, bridges and physical infrastructures.
What causes floods in South Asia?
Apart from the high magnitude of rainfall received this year, the floods in south Asia are believed to have been aggravated by human actions such as reckless construction on floodplains and in the coastal areas, waterways clogged by garbage and a faulty drainage system
According to a report published by VOA, experts have pointed out the inefficiency of the governments of the three countries and have said that is has become increasingly evident that the South Asian governments were unprepared for the annual monsoon showers.
However, disaster management officials also assert that it will be unfair to criticize the governments in view of the magnitude of the floods this year.
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