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15,000 people at risk from landslides in Rangamati hills

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bdnews24.com :
At least 15,000 people from 3,378 families are living at risk from landslides in the hilly areas in the south-eastern district of Rangamati.
The district administration of Rangamati has already identified 609 families from several wards in the district who are living in areas at severe risk of landslides.
The local administration has made a list of several dangerous areas in the hill district for the first time after 120 people were killed last year after landslides due to heavy rain.  
This year the local administration has taken additional measures, marking danger zones ahead of the impending monsoon season.
DC AKM Mamunur Rashid told bdnews24.com that the administration has taken all possible measures to prevent deaths from large landslides.
"It is not possible to stop natural disasters, but we have taken all necessary steps to avoid the deaths."
The DC added that the authority has also marked rehabilitation centres for the affected and is ready to supply sufficient relief for those who are living on several dangerous slopes.
According to the district administration's report, at least 15,000 people from 3,378 families are living at risk in 10 upazilas.
Among those, a total 609 families are living in risky conditions in nine several wards of the Rangamati municipal headquarters, including the slopes of Champanir Ma Tila, Chengir Mukh, the SP office and Matrimangal area, Kinaram Para, Swarna Tila, Rajmani Para, Post Office Colony, Muslim Para, Kina Mohan Ghona, Notun Para Hill area, Shimultali, Rupnagar, Kathaltoli Mosque Colony, Champaknagar, Amtabag and the Jalalabad Colony Hills area.
In addition, at least 3,424 people from 750 families are living in dangerous conditions on hills at six unions in the Sadar Upazila.
A total of 73 of the 120 people killed in last year's landslides, including five army officers, had died in the Rangamati municipal area and the Sadar Upazila.
Another 21 people died in Kaukhali Upazila while 18 people died in Kaptai, six in Juraichhari and two died in Bilaichhari Upazila. At least 192 people were wounded.
According to the district administration, at least 320 people from 64 families in Juraichhari Upazila, 1,111 people from 239 families in Nanniarchar Upazila, 514 people from 108 families in Langadu Upazila, 1,179 people from 245 families in Belaichhari Upazila and 553 people from 120 families from Kaukhali Upazila are facing landslide risks.
The report says at least 1,182 people of Rajosthali Upazila, 2,793 people of Kaptai Upazila and 1,850 people of Barkal Upazila are also living at risk.
Many local residents have lived in informal settlements on the hills for a long time, making it difficult to identify and mark the danger zones in the past years, one of the spokesmen of district administration told.
Deputy Commissioner Mamunur Rashid said the administration is working to ensure that no new families can settle in houses on dangerous hillside slopes.   

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