Flooding and landslides in northern Tanzania have killed at least 63 people, authorities said. Over 100 people are injured. Boulders fell from the mountains, destroying buildings.
Flooding occurred over the weekend as a result of heavy rainfall. The downpours also caused massive landslides. On Tuesday, local authorities announced that the death toll had risen to at least 63. The day before, almost 50 people were reported dead. According to Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, 116 people were injured.
– I won’t forget this for the rest of my life. (…) I have never seen anything like this in my life. Large and heavy rocks fell from the mountains, said Grace Mbulu, a resident of the town of Katesh in the Hanang district.
“Many houses are destroyed”
As the 59-year-old said, “water flooded our house, destroyed the fence and gate and left a lot of mud.” She managed to hide in a safe place in time. One woman and two children died in a neighboring house, and two other people were taken to hospital in a critical condition.
– Many houses and shops are destroyed. Many families lost their loved ones, lamented Petronea Mateo, the owner of one of the shops in the Manyara region.
In the village of Katesh, about 100 residential buildings were destroyed as a result of a landslide.
Drought and flood
The effects of the flood were made worse by a severe drought, the worst in that part of the world in 40 years. The dried soil was unable to absorb huge amounts of water.
The services warn of a high risk of further floods. Heavy rainfall may continue even into the New Year. The ongoing season of heavy rainfall since October in East Africa has killed hundreds of people.
Main photo source: Reuters