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.
'The harm done to civilians is totally unacceptable,' a UN envoy says
Tremor -- which caused no injuries -- occurred almost five years after quake killed 185 people and levelled half buildings in city's center
Deployment of Patriot missile battery to offer further protection against any potential North Korean attack
The Indian army says four suspected rebels and two soldiers have been killed in a fierce gunbattle in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir.
A former governor of Afghanistan's Herat province was kidnapped from the Pakistani capital by unidentified gunmen.
South Korea’s military is ‘ready for every possibility’ after abrupt closure of joint factory park in North Korea
Terminal High Altitude Area Defence System may be deployed as a counter to North Korea's growing missile threat
US-NATO spokesman says ISIL is contained in 4 or 5 districts
'Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet,' underlines gov't negotiator, as stakeholders fight to keep faith in deal that seals peace in country's Muslim south
The High Court dismissed appeals by Mufti Abdul Hannan, head of Harkatul Jihad Al Islami, and two members of the banned armed group who have all been convicted over a spate of deadly attacks
Media reports in Pakistan estimates the deal is worth at least $16 billion
According to reports, the chief of North Korea's military has been executed by order of the country's leader, Kim Jong-Un
An NGO's report warns that destruction of confidence in state, legal and justice systems could lure people into joining ‘struggle for independence’ in troubled region
An apex style committee will be launched to help execute the CPEC
Several rights organizations have issued a joint statement urging to lift unlawful restrictions on rights activist Uktam Pardaev
Thirteen executives of Islamic Renaissance Party have been detained for organizing armed attack on security forces