ActionAid volunteers, recruited and trained under our DIPECHO project, played a vital role in search and rescue operations right from the start of the disaster, hauling survivors out of the mud even before government rescue workers arrived.
The mudslides, Bangladesh's worst for decades, struck the eastern port city on Monday, as huge torrents of mud were dislodged from the surrounding hillsides by heavy monsoon rains.
A Chittagong survivor said Monday's landslides struck so quickly nobody had time to react. "The hills just came crushing down on us," he told Reuters by telephone.
Working with the Chittagong Medical College Hospital, ActionAid volunteers managed to get at least eight patients to hospital, despite knee-high water and the deep mud.
ActionAid has also sent an emergency team to Chittagong which, together with the volunteers, are now doing a needs and damage assessment.
We are also planning to provide health and food support in addition to providing materials to fire and civil defense.
Large areas of Bangladesh's coastline are currently under one metre of water, with more rain forecast across the country