Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar (UN Photo)
Geneva (UNA-OIC) – Three days of strong winds and heavy monsoon rain on sprawling refugee sites in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar have taken Rohingya refugee lives and wreaked havoc and destruction, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Wednesday.
While initial reports revealed that an estimated 2,500 shelters were damaged or destroyed – affecting more than 12,000 refugees, in the last 24 hours alone, UNHCR said that nearly a foot of rain fell on camps hosting more than 800,000 Rohingya refugees.
“That’s nearly half the monthly rainfall average for July in one day,” said the UN refugee agency, citing media reports that at least 11 people have died, and thousands are homeless again.
And with the monsoon season stretching over the next three months, UNHCR warned that more heavy downpours are expected, threatening further casualties. It noted that the impacts of the monsoon are compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, reminding that currently, Bangladesh is under full nationwide lockdown in response to rising cases across the nation.
Since August 2017, some 700,000 minority Muslim Rohingyas have fled violence in Myanmar, crossing the border into Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, joining hundreds of thousands of others already settled in overcrowded camps there.