Jul 29, 2021 - World

Heavy flooding displaces thousands in Rohingya refugee camps

Rohingya refugees work amid the debris of a house in Balukhali camp on July 27, 2021.
Rohingya refugees work amid the debris of a house in Balukhali camp on July 27, 2021. Photo: Tanbir Miraj/AFP via Getty Images

Relentless heavy rainfall spanning over three days has killed at least six people and displaced thousands in Rohingya refugee camps in southern Bangladesh, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Driving the news: About 2,500 shelters have been damaged or destroyed by the monsoon rains and strong winds that have hit camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar.

  • In the 24-hour period until Wednesday afternoon, nearly 12 inches of rain fell on camps that host more than 800,000 Rohingya refugees — more than half the monthly rainfall average for the entire month of July, per the agency.
  • "The situation is further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic," UNHCR said. "There is currently a strict national lockdown in response to rising cases across the country."
  • More than 5,000 refugees have temporarily located to other family members' shelters or communal facilities.
  • "The adverse weather, latest landslides and floods further exacerbate the suffering and massive humanitarian needs of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh," the refugee agency said.

What to watch: More heavy downpours are expected in the next few days as monsoon season stretches over the next three months.

Go deeper: Fire tears through Rohingya refugee camp, putting tens of thousands at risk

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