MNA Exclusive Desk: The first monsoon rains have hit camps in Bangladesh housing around a million Rohingya refugees, triggering floods and landslides but no casualties or major damage so far, officials said Sunday.
Aid agencies have been warning that the monsoon season could prompt a humanitarian catastrophe in coming months at what is the world’s biggest refugee camp, sheltering people fleeing violence in Myanmar.
The sites in southeastern Bangladesh are predicted to be hit by powerful cyclones and by more than 2.5 metres (eight feet) of rainfall over the coming three months of monsoon — roughly triple what Britain gets in a year.
Bangladesh’s meteorological office said the Cox’s Bazar area where many of the refugees live in makeshift shelters on bare hillsides had 138 millimetres (5.4 inches) of rain since Saturday evening.
“Some areas like the football field areas are flooded. Some houses have been inundated with water. There have been a few landslides. The conditions are bad,” UN refugee agency spokesperson Caroline Gluck told news agency.
The monsoon season “is going to be big test for everybody involved in the humanitarian response in support of the government of Bangladesh”, she said.
More heavy rain is forecast for coming days.