Heavy rains and landslides in Bangladesh kill 90

Large parts of the port city of Chittagong are badly affected by the floods

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Heavy rains causing multiple landslides over the past three days have killed at least 90 people in south-east Bangladesh, officials say.

Officials are describing it as the worst monsoon rainfall in years in the Chittagong region. Chittagong is the second largest city of Bangladesh.

At least 150,000 people have also been stranded by the floods, officials say.

Rescue operations are continuing but rain is hampering efforts. Flights to Chittagong airport have been cancelled.

Most rail links have also been suspended after a railway bridge collapsed. Days of heavy rain have caused mud banks to collapse, burying houses and blocking roads.

Map

Those killed were drowned in flash floods, hit by landslides, struck by lightning or buried by wall collapses.

Many homeless people live at the foot of the hills or close to them despite warnings from the authorities about the danger of landslides.

Chittagong port received 40cm (15.75in) of rain in a single 12-hour period on Tuesday. The BBC's Anbarasan Ethirajan in Dhaka says that dozens of people are still missing and the death toll is expected to increase.

Our correspondent says that the downpours have flooded vast areas of the city, displacing thousands of people.

Communications disrupted

"We are having the worst rainfall in many years," said Jainul Bari, district commissioner for Cox's Bazar, one of the affected areas.

Volunteers using loudspeakers warned people about the danger of heavy rainfall and landslides in Cox's Bazar, officials say, but local people and rescuers were still left helpless when floodwater suddenly inundated dozens of villages and severely disrupted communications.

In neighbouring Bandarban district, bodies have been recovered from multiple landslide sites, local officials have said.

Bandarban police chief Saiful Ahmed told the AFP news agency that most of the victims were asleep when huge waves of mud and debris buried them alive.

"One family has lost 12 members," Mr Ahmed said.

Other officials have said that they are expecting more heavy rain in the next few days.

Security forces have been deployed to help the search and rescue effort.

Chittagong has been hit repeatedly by monsoon rain and landslides in recent years. As a result, the government has tried to tighten rules on where development can take place but with little success.

BBC Weather Centre forecast for Bangladesh

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