Dhaka/Kuala Lumpur, 13 June 2017 – Southeast Bangladesh is reeling from the effects of the monsoon season as days of severe rains have triggered landslides in the Chittagong Hills, reportedly killing more than 40 people and leaving dozens missing.
This latest disaster comes in the wake of Cyclone Mora that battered the same region barely two weeks ago. Cyclone Mora brought high winds, heavy rains and tidal surges which triggered widespread flooding that left more than 50,000 homes damaged or destroyed in the districts of Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong and Bandarban and affected around 3.3 million people. The landslides and torrential rains in recent days are worsening the situation for coastal communities who have been struggling to rebuild their lives and livelihoods in the aftermath of Cyclone Mora
Among those hardest hit by Cyclone Mora were thousands of migrants from Rakhine State in Myanmar who live in areas close to the coast in Cox’s Bazar district. An estimated 150,000 people were affected after Cyclone Mora flattened many of the shelters in the informal settlements where they reside.
“Southeast Bangladesh is facing the full onslaught of the monsoon season’, says Azmat Ulla, the Head of the Bangladesh Office of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). “We are dealing with back-to-back disasters at the moment and the volunteers of the Bangladesh Red Crescent are out in force, helping these stricken communities.”
In response to Cyclone Mora, the IFRC and the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) has just launched an emergency appeal of 1.3 million Swiss francs (1.3 million US Dollars or 1.1 million Euros) to provide emergency assistance to 50,000 people living in three Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong and Bandarban.
Under the appeal BDRCS staff and volunteers will distribute dry food rations and household items to families affected by the cyclone, together with toolkits to repairing shelters, and cash grants to help restore lost livelihoods. Repairs and improvements will also be made to damaged sanitation facilities and water supply systems.
“On top of losing their homes and few possessions, many people have also lost their food stocks. We need to ensure that people have a roof over their heads and sufficient nutritious food”. Access to clean water and sanitation is also crucial to stop the spread of diseases”, says Azmat Ulla.
Prior to Cyclone Mora making landfall, BDRCS helped evacuate over 300,000 people living in coastal areas. BDRCS also distributed cash grants of 5,000 taka (60 euros) to 2,300 families in Hatiya Upazila, in the coastal district of Noakhali, as part of a forecast-based financing programme supported by the German Government and the German Red Cross with technical support from the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre.
To date, more than 25,000 people have received dry food supplies from the Red Crescent, while 1,000 shelter toolkits and 2,000 jerrycans will be distributed in the affected districts in the coming days.
Notes to editors: On 18 March 2017 the IFRC launched an international appeal to support 25,000 people from Rakhine State in Myanmar who fled to Bangladesh and have settled in makeshift settlement camps in Teknaf and Ukhiya sub-districts of Cox’s Bazar district. This ‘Population Movement’ appeal will be adjusted to provide additional support to communities from Myanmar who have also been impacted by Cyclone Mora.
Raqibul Alam, Senior Manager, Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting, IFRC Bangladesh Country Office
Mobile: +88 01714069707
Azmat Ulla, Head of Country Office, IFRC
Mob: +880 17115 21615
BMM Mozharul Huq, ndc; Secretary General, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society
Mob: +880 1811458500
Nazmul Azam Khan, Director, Disaster Response, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society
Mob: +880 1678135455
In Kuala Lumpur:
+41 79 251 8039