World Bulletin / News Desk
Days of rain in Bangladesh, some of the heaviest in years, have set off flash floods and landslides, killing at least 70 people and stranding about 200,000, police and officials said on Wednesday.
Low-lying and densely populated Bangladesh is battered by torrential downpours during the wet season, which began in the past few weeks.
At least 15 people were killed in and around the southeastern port city of Chittagong, while 30 died in Bandarban in an area known as the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
"Several more people are feared trapped in hillside homes buried under heaps of mud. Rescue operations are continuing," Chittagong Deputy Commissioner Faiz Ahmed said.
A further 24 died in the coastal district of Cox's Bazar near the Myanmar border, officials and police said.
Most of the deaths were caused by landslides, others by wall collapses, lightning strikes and surges of water. Army, police and fire brigade personnel were helping in rescue efforts.
In Sylhet, a rice and tea growing area in the northeast, houses stood up to three feet (one metre) under water, with residents perched on boats or scrambling to high ground. Three children were reported killed.
Flooding also hit districts northwest of the capital.
Five days of rain had beset wide areas near the border with Myanmar and India, with the weather office recording 463 mm (18.2 inches) in Chittagong over the past 24 hours.
"We are having the worst rainfall in many years," said Jainul Bari, district commissioner for Cox's Bazar.
Weather officials said more heavy rain was expected in the next few days.
Disaster control officials said about 150,000 people had been marooned by the floods in the southeast while 50,000 were stranded in Sylhet.
Hundreds of homes have been washed away, while authorities moved hundreds of families from shanty housing and told others to leave quickly.
Agriculture officials said it was too early to estimate crop damage. "In flash floods, water recedes soon after the rain stops, So we don't anticipate any major damage to rice and other crops," one official said.
Most road and rail links between Chittagong and the rest of the country were suspended late on Tuesday, while Chittagong airport was closed after water inundated part of the runway.
Three people linked to 2009 assault on Sri Lankan cricket team die as gunmen open fire police convoy in Lahore
Presidential order repeated to destroy Daesh-linked group after Aug. 24 beheading of 18-year-old Filipino hostage
The five-day talks will bring hundreds of ethnic minority rebel leaders to the capital, along with military top brass and international delegates such as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
Royal held talks with the head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organisation, Massoumeh Ebtekar, and said they would build several key partnerships by February.
50 heavily-armed members of Maute group raid local jail in southern city of Marawi, freeing suspected comrades and 20 others
Statement by reclusive state’s foreign ministry slams US and 'followers', accuses UNSC of threatening its right to exist
Senior police official says detention of senior independence figures is sign of crackdown
Police seize Mirwaiz Umar Farooq outside home, party member says
Ex-government, nationalists claim Rakhine State - home to country's Rohingya Muslims - national issue, not international
Deaths first encounter with gov't troops since president reiterated military destroy Daesh-linked group after hostage death
Attack by separatists on checkpoint in Baluchistan province also wounds two others
Mehbooba Mufti defends crackdown that has left at least 68 civilians dead, saying troublemakers are just 5 pct of population
Military says member of ISIL-linked group died after bomb he was carrying exploded during pursuit in troubled Basilan
Last week senior Chinese military official Guan Youfei met with Syria's defence minister in Damascus and said he wanted closer military ties with the Syrian government, state media reported.
Under investigation for misuse of funds including $433,800 office redecoration, $1 million New Year's light show
Police say ‘no immediate evidence to suggest extremism’ after French man charged with killing British woman in Queensland