Dozens Killed After Destructive Floods in Cameroon


At least 27 people were killed, and more than 50 others were injured after floods devastated the Cameroonian capital of Yaounde and some surrounding neighborhoods Sunday.

Heavy rains unleashed flooding in the district of Yaounde 2 near the capital, sweeping away buildings in a torrent of water and mud, reducing many to chunks of rubble.

Adding to the disaster, the rising floodwater overwhelmed a dike built in the colonial era, and it gave way, releasing a manmade lake which swept several structures down a hill Sunday, according to Assola Joseph, a local leader in the Mbankolo neighborhood.

The flood destroyed many buildings in the district and washed away at least 30 houses in the Mbankolo neighborhood, causing others to collapse with residents inside.

The search and rescue mission began Monday, with authorities still looking through the rubble “with the hope of saving lives,” said Daouda Ousmanou, the top government official in the district.

The bodies of flood victims have been laid out in a morgue, awaiting identification — while those injured were rushed to nearby hospitals, including Yaounde General Hospital which said it received 12 injured people, including a 7-year-old girl.

All those injured will be treated for free, according to Cameroon Territorial Administration Minister Paul Atanga Ngi. “I have come to extend the condolences of Cameroon President Paul Biya to the bereaved families,” he said Monday.

Flooding is common in Cameroon, especially in recent years, according to experts who point to the effects of climate change as the reason. Destruction from the flooding was exacerbated by low quality construction that circumvents local regulations.

Cameroonian authorities have been demolishing houses and buildings recently in areas that are at high risk to flooding. Many of those that were destroyed in Sunday’s flooding had been marked for demolition.

Source : VOA