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Clean up underway following deadly Ivory Coast flood

Residents clear debris from their homes in Bingerville near Abidjan after torrential rain on June 21, 2022.   -  
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Ivory Coast

At least five people, including four children, have died after torrential rain overnight led to flooding in Ivory Coast's economic capital Abidjan, according to emergency services.

"We have been called upon since 0300 (GMT and local)," the head of the fire brigade, General Issa Sacko said.

"The children died in a landslip, and the adult was swept away by the water" in the city's Bingerville neighbourhood.

Sacko added that 85 people had been rescued and one taken to hospital, while a building threatening to collapse was evacuated.

Heavy rain fell through the night, flooding many neighbourhoods of Abidjan and leaving several key roads unusable.

Clean up

In Bingerville, residents cleared out their homes after the water finally receded.

One inhabitant, Pricile Ziyahe, said she had lost everything in the flood.

"I have nothing left at home. The water swept it all away. We have nothing to wear or eat," she said.

"All our documents and diplomas, everything's gone."

Cynthia Koffi, a medicine student, said the water rose so high it broke her home's windows.

"At the neighbours' opposite, you couldn't even see the garage roof anymore," she said.

Between Monday and midday Tuesday, around 200 millimetres of rainfall fell in some neighbourhoods in Abidjan, the equivalent of several weeks of rain, according to data from the Ivorian meteorological agency.

Risk of landslides

Last week, six people died after torrential rain triggered a landslip in the city's western neighbourhood of Mossikro.

Landslips during the rainy season are a notorious risk in the fast-growing city of five million people, with flood-prone areas often inhabited by low-income citizens.

In June 2018, 18 people died in Abidjan after heavy rains. In June 2020, 13 others died in a landslide.

The Ivorian government has announced that it is to take action to protect the country's people from the effects of the floods, according to a report released on Tuesday.

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