Rescuers search for bodies and survivors after a dam collapsed causing flooding, destroying homes and killing dozens in Mbankolo, Yaounde, Cameroon, October 9, 2023.REUTERS/ Amindeh Blaise Atabong

In Cameroon, At Least Twenty-Three People Killed In A Landslide Caused By Torrential Rains

Globe Echo | A landslide caused by torrential rains on Sunday killed at least twenty-three people in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, a fire official announced Monday, October 9, specifying that this is a provisional toll while research continue. Collapses of sections of land during the rainy season frequently occur in Yaoundé, a city dotted with hills on the slopes of which sometimes precarious homes are built.

This time, the tragedy occurred early Sunday evening in the Mbankolo district, in the northwest outskirts of Yaoundé, and was caused by the rupture of a dike retaining the waters of an artificial lake located in height, according to public television channel CRTV. ” Yesterday [dimanche] we extracted fifteen deceased people and this morning we extracted eight. We continue to search »declared Monday morning David Petatoa Poufong, second in command of the national fire brigade.

The bodies of the eight victims found Monday were loaded in the middle of the morning aboard a firefighter pick-up vehicle, covered with sheets, in front of a compact crowd of onlookers but also of relatives who were crying, reports a journalist from the Agency France-Presse (AFP) on site. A firefighter speaking to his chief said that at least one child was dead, this journalist reports, while two women collapsed in tears.

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“The water swept away everything in its path”
Onlookers, like journalists, are kept away from the precise location of the landslide by a security cordon. But images broadcast on public television channel CRTV show an entire section of hill collapsed and what remains of houses clearly built from fragile materials, including wood, dried mud bricks and sheet metal. The AFP journalist could see in the distance the remains of houses on the hillside swept away by the landslide.

“There was a landslide following heavy rain. The water swept away everything in its path”, declared Daouda Ousmanou, the sub-prefect of sector II of Yaoundé where Mbankolo is located, on public radio. According to CRTV, the torrential rains caused a “dam break” in the neighborhood, which has “triggered a mudslide” And “around thirty houses were destroyed”. The channel also broadcast images apparently taken at night and showing torrents of water and mud continuing to flow in places as well as at least three lifeless bodies covered with loincloths or sheets.

On November 27, 2022, at least fifteen people were killed in the landslide of a section of hill in the Damascus district, south of Mbankolo. In this working-class neighborhood, torrential rains had caused a vacant lot on the hillside to collapse on which a crowd was attending a funeral tribute.

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