Rohingyas flocked on a flood-prone island, Bangladesh

Sentinel-2 MSI acquired on 05 January 2016 at 04:21:42 UTC
Sentinel-1 CSAR IW acquired on 04 June 2016 at 00:03:33 UTC
Sentinel-1 CSAR IW acquired on 13 December 2020 at 23:48:25 UTC
Sentinel-2 MSI acquired on 14 December 2020 at 04:21:49 UTC
Author(s): Sentinel Vision team, VisioTerra, France -
Keyword(s): Island, security, urban, infrastructure, flood, Bangladesh, Myanmar
Fig. 1 - S1 (29.09.2016) - Cox's Bazar, south-east of Bangladesh, in 2016.
Fig. 2 - S1 (13.12.2020) - Four years later, the urbanisation has largely increased.
Fig. 3 - S2 (05.01.2016) - This is due to the repression of the Rohingyas community in Myanmar.
On 10 December 2020, ACAPS published a report stating: "On 4 December, 1,600 Rohingya refugees reportedly were relocated from Cox’s Bazar to Bhasan Char island in the Bay of Bengal. The low-lying silt island is extremely prone to natural weather hazards including flooding and cyclones. The 300 Rohingya living there since April were all moved to storm shelters on the island when Cyclone Amphan struck the area in May."
Fig. 4 - S2 (14.12.2020) - Cox's Bazar district has been hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas since then.
"This raises questions around the safety and security of living conditions, and the adequacy of infrastructure if thousands of Rohingya are relocated to Bhasan Char. No international organisation has been granted access to the island and media outlets are consistently denied. Major concerns regarding access to healthcare facilities, livelihood opportunities, and freedom of movement have been raised, with the UN requesting access to the island for an independent evaluation. According to Bangladeshi authorities, the relocation is necessary due to overcrowding, refugee-host community tensions, and gang-related violence in Cox’s Bazar."
Fig. 5 - S2 (13.11.2016) - Bhashan Char is an alluvial island in the Gulf of Bengal, 25 km off the south-east coast of mainland Bangladesh.
On 29.12.2020, Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan added in the the Bangladeshi paper the Dhaka Tribune: "Some 1,804 more Rohingyas have arrived at Bhashan Char in Noakhali from the camps in Cox's Bazar in the second phase of the relocation process. The persecuted Myanmar citizens reached the island in the Bay of Bengal on Tuesday afternoon, after a three-hour journey from Chittagong."
Fig. 6 - S2 (27.11.2020) - Formed less than 20 years ago, it was uninhabitated until recently.
"This aerial view of Bhasan Char shows a portion of the housing facilities that has been built on the island to relocate the Rohingyas from Cox’s Bazar. The authorities say that the housing is ready to host 1 lakh Rohingyas." - Source: Daily Star
Fig. 7 - S1 (29.09.2016) - Bangladesh has decided to relocated 100 000 Rohingyas on this remote island.
"The second batch of Rohingyas will join 1,645 of their fellow citizens, who were relocated to the island on December 4. Actually, 1,642 Rohingyas arrived in Bhashan Char on that day. Since then, three babies were born to take the number to 1,645."
Fig. 8 - S1 (13.12.2020) - To this intent, a settlement has been built on the island.
"Earlier, all the preparations were completed to conduct the relocation under the supervision of the Bangladesh Navy. The Rohingyas, who have volunteered to be relocated to Bhashan Char developed by the Bangladesh Navy at the cost of Tk3,100 crore, were brought to Chittagong on Monday night, according to officials."
Fig. 9 - S2 (25.07.2020) - So far, over 3000 people have left Cox's Bazar for Bhashan Char.
"Buoyed by the success of the first relocation, the government is continuing its effort to relocate some 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhashan Char in phases to provide them with a better living place. Located 34 kilometres from the mainland, the island under Hatiya upazila of Noakhali surfaced 20 years ago and was never inhabited."
Fig. 10 - S1 (13.12.2020) - This island has a low elevation, even for Bangladeshi standards.
"Contractors say its infrastructure is like a modern township, with multi-family concrete homes, schools, playgrounds, and roads. It also has solar power facilities, a water supply system and cyclone shelters.".
Fig. 11 - S1 (30.08.2020) - The inhabitants have to rely on the surrounding levee for their safety.
"Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar district and most of them entered Bangladesh since August 25, 2017, amid a military crackdown on Rohingyas in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, which the UN called a 'textbook example of ethnic cleansing' and other rights groups dubbed as 'genocide.' Bangladesh has been urging the global community to mount pressure on Myanmar for effective repatriation of the Rohingyas.", concluded the article.
Fig. 12 - S1 (04.06.2016) - However, massive floods are usual during the season of monsoon which may endanger the settlers.
Fig. 13 - S1 (17.08.2018) - A cyclone in this part of the Indian ocean could also both cause a storm surge and damage the dikes.