12 JUNE, 2018
BY RICHARD DAVIES
Severe weather, including thunderstorms, heavy rain and strong winds has affected Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh. Media are reporting that over the last 2 days as many as 12 people have died in landslides triggered by the heavy rain.
Meanwhile across the border in Myanmar, local media have reported heavy rain, flooding and landslides in Shan state and Magway and Sagaing regions. Homes and roads have been damaged, and at least 1 person has died with 3 others missing.
Heavy rain began falling over the weekend (09 to 10 June). Cox’s Bazar has recorded over 300 mm of rain in 48 hours to 12 June.
The UN in Bangladesh said that “monsoon rains have arrived in the Rohingya refugee sites in Cox’s Bazar district. The weather front has brought strong winds and heavy rains, a big challenge for refugees living in bamboo and tarpaulin shelters.”
Kevin J. Allen, UNHCR Head of Operations for the Rohingya Refugee Emergency, said via Social Media: “Thousands of Rohingya refugees are at extreme risk of life-threatening landslides in the hilly refugee settlements of Bangladesh… We urgently need more emergency evacuation space to save lives.”
According to media reports, landslides triggered by monsoon rains killed at least 12 people on Tuesday.
Bangladesh Meteorological Department has issued a heavy rainfall warning over Barisal, Chattogram and Sylhet divisions.
The European Union’s humanitarian directorate, DG-ECHO, said that “local authorities, along with international humanitarian actors, have been working around the clock to provide assistance. The Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner has requested all actors to draw an evacuation plan for the first time, while the District Commissioner has called for a meeting of the Control Room to coordinate local authorities’ response.”
In Myanmar, much of the heavy rainfall over the last 2 days has fallen in Rakhine State, which borders Bangladesh.
According to figures from the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology in Myanmar, Taunggyi recorded 218 mm of rain in 24 hours to 10 June, while Machanbaw recorded 207 mm.
The following day Kyauktaw, Rakhine recorded 202mm, while Sittwe, the state capital, recorded 188 mm. Magway in Magway region recorded 124mm of rain in 24 hours to 11 June.
Myanmar Red Cross Society and local media reported that flooding in Saw Township, Magway region has left at least 1 person dead and 3 missing, around 06 to 07 June, 2018.
Also around that time, flooding hit Pakokku Township, Magway Region, where almost 300,000 were affected, local media reported.
On 05 June, around 40 homes and other buildings were damaged by flooding in Kani Township, Sagaing Region and roads and a school were damaged in Taunggyi Township, Shan State.
The Department of Meteorology and Hydrology in Myanmar said that the influence of the monsoon over the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal, combined with the low pressure area over the North Bay of Bengal, heavy rain will continue in particular in in Kachin, Shan and Kayah States to at least 14 June.