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Cameroon: At least 13 dead in landslide after torrential rain

Firefighters are seen in Mbankolo some 25 km from Yaoundé where an overflowing lake destroyed houses in its path, during the night of Sunday 8 to Monday 9, Oct. 2023.   -  
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Torrential rain during the night of Sunday (Oct. 8) to Monday (Oct. 9) have triggered a landslide which destroyed parts of the Mbankolo neighbourhood, around 25 km from Yaoundé, Cameroon's capital.

13 people have been confirmed dead so far.

Public broadcaster CRTV reported that torrential rain caused a dyke in the neighborhood to rupture.

"I hand't heard of the incident", a resident said. 

"I've just rushed here only to see that the artificial lake had indeed ruptured. I see this and I see injured people being evacuated and sent to the hospital. There are people that we know, that live in the neighborhood they are still unaccounted for.

Daouda Ousmanou, the divisional officer of the Yaoundé district where Mbankolo is located warned that the death toll could still rise.

He added that firefighters were on the scene supervising a search and rescue operation.

Public broadcaster CRTV reported that “around thirty houses had been destroyed”.

Ernest Zebaze, a 24-year-old university student said he identified the bodies of his mother and two siblings. “I am still looking for my father who was in the house during the downpour," Zebaze said.

Bodies of the victims have been laid out at a morgue while the injured were rushed to hospitals. The Yaounde General Hospital said it received 12 injured, including a 7-year-old girl.

Mudslides during the rainy season are frequent in Yaoundé, a hilly city where sometimes precarious dwellings are built.

Authorities in Cameroon have been demolishing houses in high-risk zones susceptible to floods and landslides. Many of the buildings that collapsed on Sunday had been marked for demolition.

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