Hill Cutting Causes Monsoon Mudslide, Kills 30, Leaves Thousands Homeless

What is affected
Housing Social/public
Housing private
Land Social/public
Type of violation Dispossession/confiscation
Date 04 June 2007
Region A [ Asia ]
Country Bangladesh
Location Chittagong

Affected persons

Total 30
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
Proposed solution

Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

influential people
Brief narrative The 2007 Chittagong Mudslide occurred in the port city of Chittagong in south-eastern Bangladesh. On 11 June 2007, heavy monsoon rainfall caused landslides that engulfed slums around the hilly areas of the city. Experts had previously warned the increasing likelihood of landslides due to the Bangladesh government`s failure in curbing the illegal hill cutting taking place in Chittagong.[1]

Causes of the Disaster

Rainfall totals over Bangladesh from 4 through 11 June 2007, based on measurements from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite. The heaviest rainfall was up to 500 mm (20 inches). Orange, yellow, green and blue indicate rainfall up to 400, 300, 200 and 100 mm respectively.

Bangladesh’s annual monsoon for 2007 started with unusually heavy rain, intensified by a storm from the Bay of Bengal on 9-10 June 2007. By 11 June, more than one-third of the southeastern coastal city of Chittagong was under water, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In addition to the floods, the rains triggered devastating landslides in the deforested hills on which the city is built.

Chittagong District Commissioner Mukhlesur Rahman blamed hill cutting for the disaster.[11] Lalkhan Bazar, one of the worst damaged area in the mudslide,[6] has been identified as one of the most affected by hill cutting led by influential people.[1] Professor of Geography and Environmental studies in Chittagong University Shahidul Islam explained, "The only reason for Monday’s mud slide in the cantonment area is cutting hills indiscriminately... We were warning about this risk for decades, and this event our fears real." Architect Jerina Hossain said, "Cutting hills made the soil slippery and loose. As a result, it came down with the rain."[12]

Communications Adviser of the Bangladesh Government Major General MA Matin supervising the rescue operation on behalf of the Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed directed Chittagong divisional and district administration to identify those responsible for hill cutting on June 14.[4][13]

1. "Mindless hill-cutting caused mudslide," The Daily Star (12 June 2007);
2. "Landslides kill 30 in Bangladesh," IOL (11 June 2007);
3. Osman Gani Mansur, "Mudslides in Bangladesh city kill 35," Associated Press;
4. "Strong action against mentors of hill cutting: 8,000 people to be evacuated," The New Nation (15 June 2007);
5. "Death toll now 123 in Ctg mudslides," The Daily Star (14 June 2007);
6. "Walls of mud turn Ctg into city of death," The Daily Star (11 June 2007);
7. Bangladesh landslides, rain kill 68 people, Reuters (11 June 2007);
8. Floods, landslides claim 52 in Bangladesh The Nation. 2007-06-11.
9. "Rain-triggered mudslide kills 39 in Bangladesh," Malaysia Sun (12 June 2007);
10. "Businesses come to a rain halt," The Daily Star (12 June 2007);11. Floods, landslides kill dozens in Bangladesh. ABC News. 2007-06-12.
12. Iqbal Hossain Choudhury, "পাহাড়ে বিভীষিকা" (in Bengali), "Chutir Dine, Prothom Alo 403, (13 June 2007), 4–6;
13. "Matin orders affirm stop to hill cutting," The Independent. 2007-06-14.

Original at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Chittagong_mudslide
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