Destructive fire could send more Rohingya to Bhasan Char

By April 16, 2021

Bangladesh (MNN) — Thousands of Rohingya remain homeless after a massive fire swept through a refugee camp in Bangladesh. Several gas cylinders used for cooking exploded, and strong winds spread the blaze.

Vincent Michael of FMI says, “This isn’t the first fire to hit this camp. This is the third or fourth, and this is by far the most devastating of all of them. It looks like 9500 homes have been either completely burned to the ground, or are significantly damaged. 50,000 people displaced, and then a lot of people who are just missing.”

As the fire grew, Michael says people struggled to escape the flames.  “These camps are fenced in. And so as people were fleeing, they were just kind of getting balled up on the fences and these massive numbers of people.”

Bhasan Char

Aid agencies have rushed to get food and shelter to refugees now exposed to the elements. “It may be that there’s greater pressure put on the Bengali government to get people to Bhasan Char, which is the island that they’ve been relocating the refugees to.”

Bhasan Char first appeared in the Bay of Bengal in 2006. Many worry the upcoming cyclone season could endanger Rohingya on the island. As these refugees endure hardship after hardship, ask God to comfort and strengthen them.

 

 

The header image shows the refugee camp before the fire. (English: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, OGL v1.0 <http://NationalArchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/1/>, via Wikimedia Commons)