Watch: The Long Journey of Rohingyas from Myanmar to Bangladesh
This exodus comes after insurgent attacks on 25 August sparked clashes with security forces.
About 146,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar after insurgent attacks on security forces on 25 August provoked a military counter-offensive, a UN source said on 6 September.
This brings the total number of Rohingya who have sought refuge in Bangladesh since October to 233,000. The earlier surge occurred when Rohingya insurgents staged similar but smaller attacks on security posts.
This comes on the heels of the Indian government announcing that 40,000 Rohingya refugees would be deported. A plea against this decision made by two Rohingya asylum seekers in Delhi is being reviewed by the Supreme Court.
“The numbers are very worrying. They are going up very quickly,” said United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokeswoman Vivian Tan.
The agency was pleading for assistance, saying it needed more land so it could set up new camps to accommodate refugees who were arriving hungry, traumatised, and in need of medical assistance.
“Most have walked for days from their villages – hiding in jungles, crossing mountains and rivers with what they could salvage from their homes,” the agency said in a statement.
“An unknown number could still be stranded at the border,” it said.
In Bangladesh, aid agencies said there was an urgent need for emergency shelters and medical aid as more refugees arrive.
The UNHCR's new refugee estimate was the result of aid workers conducting new, more accurate counts that revised Monday's estimate up from 87,000, Tan said.
Roughly 1 million Rohingya were believed to have been in Myanmar previously, though estimates vary.
Tens of thousands of new refugees have been taken in at established camps that have been housing Rohingya since the 1990s, but those camps have reached “breaking point,” the UN refugee agency said. Thousands of others were now sheltering under emergency tents, in makeshift camps or out in the open wherever they found space.
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