2007 Chittagong mudslides

The 2007 Chittagong mudslides (Bengali: ২০০৭ চট্টগ্রাম ভূমিধস) occurred in the port city of Chittagong in south-eastern Bangladesh. On 11 June 2007, heavy monsoon rainfall caused mudslides that engulfed slums around the hilly areas of the city. Experts had previously warned the increasing likelihood of landslides due to the Bangladesh government's failure in curbing the illegal hill cutting taking place in Chittagong.[1]

Chittagong-map
Location of Chittagong

Extent of the disaster

One third of Chittagong, a city of five million residents, came under water due to heavy rainfall and tidal water.[2] The flash floods in the hills caused mud slides and rubble to bury shanties at the foot of the hills near Chittagong Cantonment.[3] Many residents took refuge in local mosques after losing their homes in the disaster. The death toll was reported to be at least 128, including at least 59 children, with more than 150 injured.[4][5][6][7][8][9] This is expected to rise further as the rescue efforts got underway and additional reports were received. The government asked the local authorities to evacuate 8,000 people from Lebubagan, the worst hit area.[4] The country-wide death toll from the floods and landslides neared 130 on 12 June, according to Reuters. Most of the deaths were a result of the landslides or from buildings collapsing in the rain.

Communication infrastructure was badly affected with telephone links with the rest of the country and within the city inoperable. Kalurghat Radio Station had to be shut down as its offices were submerged in six feet of water. Flights to the city's Shah Amanat International Airport, were suspended and the Chittagong Port, serving 90% of the country's foreign trade, was closed.[10]

Disaster management

Bangladesh President Iajuddin Ahmed and his Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed have been in touch with the local administration to keep abreast of ongoing developments and the government has approved Tk 9 lakh to assist the victims. This is the first natural disaster to befall the country since the caretaker government was put in place in January 2007.[6]

Causes of the disaster

2007 Bangladesh mudslides TRMM
Rainfall totals over Bangladesh from 4 through 11 June 2007, based on measurements from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite. The heaviest rainfall, of up to 500 mm (20 inches), is shown in red. Orange, yellow, green and blue indicate rainfall up to 400, 300, 200 and 100 mm respectively.

Bangladesh's annual monsoon for 2007 started with unusually heavy rain, intensified by a storm from the Bay of Bengal on 9–10 June 2007. By 11 June, more than one-third of the southeastern coastal city of Chittagong was under water, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In addition to the floods, the rains triggered devastating landslides in the deforested hills on which the city is built.

Chittagong Deputy Commissioner Mukhlesur Rahman blamed hill cutting for the disaster.[11] Lalkhan Bazar, one of the worst damaged areas in the mudslide,[6] has been identified as one of the most affected by hill cutting led by influential people.[1] Professor of Geography and Environmental studies in Chittagong University Shahidul Islam explained, "The only reason for Monday's mud slide in the cantonment area is cutting hills indiscriminately... We were warning about this risk for decades, and this event our fears real." Architect Jerina Hossain said, "Cutting hills made the soil slippery and loose. As a result, it came down with the rain."[12]

Communications Adviser of the Bangladesh Government Major General MA Matin supervising the rescue operation on behalf of the Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed directed Chittagong divisional and district administration to identify those responsible for hill cutting on 14 June.[4][13]

Other areas

In the same monsoon onslaught other areas in Bangladesh suffered in varying degrees. In the nearby town of Comilla, to the north, 60,000 people were rendered homeless and in the adjacent district of Cox's Bazar, to the south, 400,000 people were marooned in floods.[14] Three more people were injured in another mudslide in the nearby hill town of Rangamati to the east, where Kaptai Lake became dangerously overflooded to threaten a 230 megawatt hydro-electric plant.[15] On the day of the mudslide in Chittagong, 11 people died in lightning strikes in Cox's Bazar, Noakhali and Brahmanbaria districts around the disaster damaged areas.[3]

References

  1. ^ a b Roy, Pinaki (12 June 2007). "Mindless hill-cutting caused mudslide". The Daily Star.
  2. ^ "Landslides kill 30 in Bangladesh". IOL. South Africa. Agence France-Presse. 11 June 2007. Archived from the original on 5 October 2012.
  3. ^ a b Mansoor, Osman Gani (12 June 2007). "Lightning, mudslides kill 78 in Bangladesh". Boston Globe. Associated Press.
  4. ^ a b c "Strong action against mentors of hill cutting: 8000 people to be evacuated". The New Nation. 15 June 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007..
  5. ^ "Death toll now 123 in Ctg mudslides". The Daily Star. 14 June 2007.
  6. ^ a b c "Walls of mud turn Ctg into city of death". The Daily Star. 11 June 2007.
  7. ^ Bangladesh landslides, rain kill 68 people, Reuters, 11 June 2007.
  8. ^ "Floods, landslides claim 52 in Bangladesh". The Nation. Bangkok. Agence France-Presse. 11 June 2007. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007.
  9. ^ "Rain-triggered mudslide kills 39 in Bangladesh". Malaysia Sun. 12 June 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  10. ^ "Businesses come to a rain halt". The Daily Star. 12 June 2007.
  11. ^ "Floods, landslides kill dozens in Bangladesh". ABC News. 12 June 2007. Archived from the original on 14 June 2007.
  12. ^ Choudhury, Iqbal Hossain (13 June 2007). পাহাড়ে বিভীষিকা. Chutir Dine (in Bengali). 403. Prothom Alo. pp. 4–6.
  13. ^ "Matin orders affirm stop to hill cutting". The Independent. Dhaka. 14 June 2007. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
  14. ^ ADRC Disaster Report Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Asian Disaster Reduction Center. 12 June 2007
  15. ^ Millions marooned by floods in Bangladesh. The Heat is Online. 12 June 2007

External links

2017 Bangladesh landslides

On 12 June 2017, heavy monsoon rain triggered a series of landslides and floods in Rangamati, Chittagong and Bandarban - three hilly districts of Bangladesh - and killed at least 152 people. The weather also caused power cuts and telecommunications disruptions, making it difficult for rescuers to reach affected communities. Reaz Ahmed, head of Bangladesh's Disaster Management Department, said the landslides were the worst in the country's history.

Floods in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is prone to flooding due to being situated on the Brahmaputra River Delta (also known as the Ganges Delta) and the many distributaries flowing into the Bay of Bengal. Coastal flooding, combined with the bursting of river banks is common, and severely affects the landscape and society of Bangladesh. 80% of Bangladesh is floodplain, and it has an extensive sea coastline, rendering the nation very much at risk of periodic widespread damage. Whilst more permanent defenses, strengthened with reinforced concrete, are being built, many embankments are composed purely of soil and turf and made by local farmers. Flooding normally occurs during the monsoon season from June to September. The convectional rainfall of the monsoon is added to by relief rainfall caused by the Himalayas. Meltwater from the Himalayas is also a significant input.

Each year in Bangladesh about 26,000 square kilometres (10,000 sq mi) (around 18% of the country) is flooded, killing over 5,000 people and destroying more than seven million homes. During severe floods the affected area may exceed 75% of the country, as was seen in 1998. This volume is 95% of the total annual inflow. By comparison, only about 187 trillion l (1.87×1011 m3; 6.6×1012 cu ft) of streamflow is generated by rainfall inside the country during the same period. The floods have caused devastation in Bangladesh throughout history, especially in 1966, 1987, 1988 and 1998. The 2007 South Asian floods also affected a large portion of Bangladesh.

Index of Sri Lanka-related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of topics related to Sri Lanka.

Index of Sri Lanka-related articles (0–9)

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List of landslides

This list of landslides is a list of notable landslides and mudflows divided into sections by date and type. This list is very incomplete as there is no central catalogue for landslides, although some for individual countries/areas do exist. Volumes of landslides are recorded in the scientific literature using cubic kilometres (km3) for the largest and millions of cubic metres (normally given the non-standard shortening of MCM) for most events.

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