The Heat Is Online

Bangladesh Floods Strand 150,000

Bangladesh floods kill 58, maroon 150,000 people, June 30, 2003

CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh - Heavy rain, mudslides and storms have killed at least 58 people in southeastern Bangladesh over two weeks, officials said.

Rains also marooned about 150,000 people in several villages and offshore Hatiya island during the two-week period, disaster management officials said.

Eleven people were swept away or buried in rain-triggered landslides in Chittagong district last week, Hashib Aziz, additional superintendent of police in Chittagong, 300 km (187 miles) from Dhaka, said on the weekend.

Twenty-two others were killed on Thursday and five in the previous week. Earlier, 20 fishermen were believed dead after their boats sank in the Bay of Bengal during a rainstorm.

The weather office forecast more heavy rains over the next few days. The monsoon lasts from June to September.

Incessant rain, as well as a day-long strike called by an opposition party, halted loading, unloading and deliveries at the Chittagong port, which handles 80 percent of Bangladesh's external trade, port officials said.

Densely populated Bangladesh and eastern parts of India are regularly flooded in the monsoon season between June and September when the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers and their tributaries overflow.