Powerful landslides triggered by heavy rains killed at least 49 people in southeastern Bangladesh on Tuesday, striking a coastal area as people slept and burying many alive inside their homes.


The mudslides struck early Tuesday in two areas in the southern coastal area of Cox's Bazar — about 300 kilometres south of the capital, Dhaka. ((CBC))

Rescuers pulled bodies from under chunks of mud covering mostly thatched huts before rescue work was suspended because of darkness, officials said.

The mudslides struck early Tuesday in two areas in Cox's Bazar, about 300 kilometres south of the capital, Dhaka.

Firefighters and soldiers were using cranes and water hoses to clear debris from a makeshift military camp in the Ramu area that was buried under mud, said local photographer Rashedul Majid.

As the rain continued to pound, officials feared the toll could rise.

Several vehicles were covered by layers of mud and a huge banyan tree had collapsed on a bamboo-and-tin roof shelter, he said.

A district magistrate in Cox's Bazar, Mohammad Jasim Uddin, confirmed the deaths of five soldiers and said another was trapped.


Army personnel carry a body after a landslide in Cox's Bazar Tuesday. Landslides triggered by heavy rain in southeast Bangladesh buried dozens of houses and an army camp, killing at least 58 people, officials said. ((Stringer/Reuters))

The chief government administrator in the area, Giasuddin Ahmed, said 45 bodies, including those of the soldiers, had so far been recovered from the landslides at Ukhia and Teknaf.

Another mudslide in a nearby district of Bandarban killed four members of a family, said police officer Zahirul Hoque.

Ahmed said dozens of people left homeless took shelter in government buildings and were given food and water. He said the rescue operation was called off until Wednesday.