A screenshot taken from a video on June 13, 2017 shows damaged houses in Bangladesh's southeastern Rangamati district. The death toll from early Tuesday's devastating rain-triggered landslides in Bangladesh's three southeastern districts has risen to 71, as rescuers retrieved more bodies including those of two army officers, officials said. (Xinhua)
DHAKA, June 13 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from early Tuesday's devastating rain-triggered landslides in Bangladesh's three southeastern districts has risen to 71, as rescuers retrieved more bodies including those of two army officers, officials said.
Heavy rains since Monday morning swept through Bangladesh's three southeastern districts -- Chittagong, Bandarban and Rangamati -- and triggered huge landslides early Tuesday.
Four members of Bangladesh Army including two of its officers were killed in a landslide in Rangamati district, said Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) of Bangladesh Army.
Lieutenant Colonel Md Rashidul Hasan, director of ISPR, told Xinhua that 10 army men were also injured in the incident while another remained missing.
He said the army personnel died while conducting rescue operation in the worst landslide that hit the area.
The identities of all deceased could not be immediately known.
Rangamati Police Chief Sayeed Tarikul Hassan told Xinhua flood caused by the incessant rain has inundated many areas of the district since Monday.
He said rescue operation is still underway with rescue teams searching for more bodies under tons of mud and debris with shovels and bare hands.
"More people were feared dead under the mud," he said without specifying the number of the dead.
A Rangamati district administration official who preferred to be unnamed said rescuers have retrieved 45 bodies in the district, some 391 km away from capital Dhaka.
In the Bandarban district located some 316 km away from capital Dhaka, seven people have been killed in landslides.
Bandarban Superintendent of Police Sanjeeb Kumar Roy told Xinhua that seven bodies have so far been recovered. He said police with the help of local people retrieved the bodies from under the mud.
Nineteen people reportedly died in Chittagong, another danger zone for landslides.
Landslides are frequent in Bangladesh's hilly areas during the heavy monsoon that usually runs from June to September.
In June 2007, some 123 people were killed in a devastating landslide in the southeastern Chittagong district, some 242 km away from Dhaka.