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Dozens dead in Cameroon landslide after torrential rain

SCOURING IN RUBBLE —Rescuers search for survivors

Dozens of people have died following a landslide caused by torrential rainfall in the western Cameroon city of Bafoussam, according to state media.

Rescue teams were scouring the rubble of destroyed homes for survivors following the landslide on Monday night, state television said on Tuesday.

“It is clear that we will have to ask the people who are resident in this area to leave the area, because the area is actually very dangerous,” Awa Fonka Augustine, governor of the West region, told Cameroon Radio Television.

The Associated Press news agency quoted Augustine as saying on Tuesday that the death toll had risen from 13 to at least 34.

“We also have at least a dozen people with severe wounds,” Augustine said. “The death toll may be higher because the incident occurred in the night and you know that there are many children in this neighbourhood who were sleeping at the time,” he added.

The state-run Cameroon Tribune newspaper said on Tuesday 33 bodies have been recovered.

Police were searching for dozens more people reported missing in Bafoussam, some 200 kilometres (120 miles) north of Cameroon’s main port city of Douala.

It is feared that at least two pregnant women were killed. Pierre Kemvhe, 51, said his pregnant wife was still missing.

“My wife was expecting a baby and was very tired when she went to sleep while I was still in my shop last night,” he was quoted as saying by AP. “I have not seen her.”

Heavy rains have continued beyond the end of central Africa’s rainy season, causing severe flooding that has displaced nearly 30,000 people in Cameroon’s neighbour, the Central African Republic.

Further east, in South Sudan, nearly one million people have been affected by heavy flooding following heavy rains since July, the United Nations said last week. – Al Jazeera

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