At least 15 people died Sunday in a landslide on a hillside where a crowd was attending a funeral in a popular neighborhood of Yaoundé, the Cameroonian capital, the governor of the region told AFP Monday in a new report.
A few hours after the tragedy, Naseri Paul Bea, the governor of the Centre region, announced on the state radio CRTV that 11 people had died but that the search was continuing for possible other victims.
"We are now at 15 dead," he told AFP on Monday morning, some time after a dozen firefighters began digging with shovels on an imposing pile of red earth at the foot of the hill in this neighborhood of Damascus, in the east of Yaoundé, according to an AFP correspondent on the spot. Around them, a hundred residents and onlookers were kept at a distance by police officers.
A little further on, people entered two modest houses one by one to offer their condolences to two families who had lost their loved ones in the tragedy. One of them was a cab driver, his vehicle is still parked in front of the family home.
Late Sunday afternoon, at least one tent, among several others housing dozens of participants in a ceremony to honor five members of an association who died this year, was swept away by a landslide.
Four bodies had been quickly evacuated, covered with a white sheet, on the flatbeds of three police pick-ups and the rescuers then gradually removed 11 new deceased people, before stopping their search around 11 pm.
Four large white tents remained intact at the top of the hill but on the edge of a whole collapsed section, reported AFP reporter Sunday evening.
In the vicinity of the wasteland, there are relatively well-to-do houses in good condition and very precarious dwellings, like those, countless, sometimes made of wood and sheet metal, which cover the sides of the seven hills forming part of the relief of the Cameroonian capital, populated by more than four million inhabitants.