Powerful landslides triggered by heavy rains killed at least 38 people and left seven army soldiers missing in southeastern Bangladesh.
The mudslides struck early Tuesday in two areas in the southern coastal area of Cox's Bazar 185 miles (296 kilometers) south of the capital, Dhaka and many victims were buried alive as they slept, said Giasuddin Ahmed, chief government administrator in the area.
Ahmed said 19 bodies were initially recovered from landslides in Cox's Bazar. Later, another 14 bodies were recovered, said A.N.M. Nazim Uddin, another government official, who was overseeing the rescue operation in the district's Teknaf area, bordering Myanmar. Another mudslide in a nearby district killed four members of a family, said the area's police official Zahirul Hoque by phone. He said huge chunks of mud buried the victims' home. Elsewhere, a 32-year-old woman died in Cox's Bazar town after her thatched home was hit by a rush of mud.
At least seven soldiers were also missing at a makeshift camp at Ramu area of the district, Ahmed said.
"We are trying to confirm what has happened there," he told The Associated Press by phone as he headed to the scene. Ahmed said the death toll could still rise, but authorities were having difficulty evaluating the situation because of continuous downpours and snapped road links to the area.
Desh TV, a Dhaka-based station, reported at least 39 deaths in the disaster.
Video footage from ATN Bangla television showed rescuers, mostly villagers, were removing mud from buried homes.
Rescue operations were continuing but rains hampered efforts with many main roads inundated.
A depression in the Bay of Bengal caused incessant downpours in the hilly and forested region, causing the landslides.