by Zheng Jianhua， Naim-Ul-Karim
DHAKA, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Devastating landslides and floods caused by heavy rains hit many houses in Bangladesh's three southeastern hilly districts Since Tuesday morning, killing at least 88 people and leaving over a dozen persons injured with many more feared dead under the mud, officials said Wednesday.
They said heavy rains swept through Bangladesh's three southeastern districts -- Chittagong, Cox's Bazaar and Bandarban -- and triggered huge landslides since Tuesday.
Kamrul Ahsan, police chief in Bandarban district, some 316 km southeast of capital Dhaka, told Xinhua over phone, "34 people were killed and 14 injured in the incidence of rain-triggered landslides."
He said landslide killed 25 people including 11 from the same family in the district's Lama area while nine more persons including six of another family were buried alive in its hilly Naikhongchhari.
KM Tariqul Islam, the district's administration chief, said rescuers are still searching for some missing persons. "About 14 people were also injured in the two incidents of landslides in the district's Lama and Naikhongchhari since Tuesday evening," Ahsan added.
Senior Police official Selim Jahangir from Cox's Bazar district, some 391 km southeast of capital Dhaka, said, "at least 34 people were killed due to landslides, flash floods and thunderbolts in the district."
Flood caused by the incessant rain inundated many areas of the Cox's Bazaar, famous for the world's longest natural sandy sea beach, disrupting communications in the district, he said.
Several landslides were also reported in many parts of the country's hilly Chittagong port city, 242 km southeast of Dhaka, as downpour continued for hours since Tuesday morning. At least 20 people were killed in and around southeastern Chittagong city due to rain-triggered land slides, thunderstorms, wall collapse, electrocution and some related casualties, the district's administration chief Faiz Ahmed told Xinhua.
He said rescue operation had begun immediately while troops joined police and fire service later.
Ahmed said relentless downpour over the past few days forced suspension of flight operations in the country's second import airport on Tuesday afternoon after heavy incessant rain waters overflowed the runway, and snapped rail communication with the rest of the country in the evening.
Rough weather also disrupted loading and unloading at the country's premier Chittagong seaport.
According to meteorological office in Chittagong, until 9 p.m. local time on Tuesday, 462.5 millimeters of rainfall was recorded, submerging almost two-thirds of the city.
A bulletin of the Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (FFWC) in Dhaka Wednesday said major rivers across the country like Jamuna, Padma and Meghna keep swelling with some rivers flowing over the danger mark which mean the flood situation in coastal districts of the country may worsen in the coming days if the rain continues.
Rain-triggered landslides are almost frequent in Bangladesh's hilly areas during the heavy monsoon that usually runs from June to September.
At least 49 people including 5 army personnel were killed in devastating landslides caused by heavy rains in Bangladesh's two southeastern districts -- Cox's Bazaar and Bandarban -- in June 15, 2010.
Earlier in June 2007, some 123 people were killed in a devastating landslide in Bangladesh's southeastern Chittagong district.