Death toll from floods in Cameroon’s capital, reaches 27 with more than 50 injured, Monday, as rescuers intensify the search for those missing following the deluge the previous day.
The rains unleashed floodwaters in the district of Yaoundé 2 of the country’s capital on Sunday, sweeping away buildings and reducing many to rubble.
One of the victims mentioned that some bodies have travelled a long way and have been found more than 100 meters from their homes.
Urbanism Minister Celestine Ketcha Courtes, who visited the site, called on local residents to follow the instructions of local authorities.
“And when I have got the publication of the Meteo (weather agency) – I have sent out a release document calling local authorities to do everything possible to let the bed of the water free. Because we know at this moment in Cameroon, we have these terrible rains. So, all my condolences to the family whose loved ones passed away. Please follow the instructions, the urbanism document, because our country has so many documents concerning the well and planned evacuation of our cities,” expressed the Minister.
Flooding has been frequent in Cameroon in recent years, with experts often blaming climate change, and its impact has been exacerbated by shoddy construction that often circumvents regulations.
The latest floods were worsened after a dike in a man-made lake gave way, sweeping structures The heavy rain that poured down on Yaounde on Sunday October 8, caused a deadly landslide in the Mbankolo district, where houses are built into the hillsides. According to Daouda Ousmanou, the divisional officer of the Yaounde II district, five bodies have already been removed from the rubble.
However, “the toll could change at any moment”, he said on state radio CRTV. Several media outlets that visited the site put the death toll at 13. But, Daouda Ousmanou informs that searches are still ongoing.
Meanwhile, flooding was reported in Mbankomo, just west of Yaoundé. Numerous homes were submerged by the waters, and reports that SBBC was unable to confirm independently claimed one dead.
Heavy rains have been battering the city of Yaounde for several days. A weather forecast issued by the National Meteorological Department (DMN) on October 8 predicted heavy to moderate rainfall in certain regions of the country, including the Centre. “Populations are exposed to a low risk of flooding and landslides along unstable slopes. Residents are advised to remain vigilant,” warned the DMN.