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Severe flooding hits Luanda, Angola

angola-floods-march-2017

At least 11 people have been killed, six injured and thousands left homeless after flooding destroyed more than 700 homes and damaged more than 5 000 in Angola's northwestern province of Luanda. Several people are still missing.

Heavy rains and flooding hit Luanda on March 21 and 22 after more than 80 mm (3.14 inches) of rain fell in the capital within 24 hours. 

Civil Protection and Fire Service spokesperson Faustino Minguês said that the deaths occurred in the municipalities of Cacuaco, Cazenga, Belas, Kilamba-Kiaxi and Luanda, and in the Urban District of Sambizanga. He warned that several reservoirs on the outskirts of Luanda were almost full and threatening to overflow.

According to media reports, many of the victims died as a result of homes collapsing while other were swept away by flood water or electrocuted by falling power cables.

Minguês said Thursday that 5 773 homes have been damaged by floods and around 344 families have been evacuated. Initial assessments reported 13 destroyed houses but the figure was later revised to more than 700.

State-run Angop news agency said several people are still missing.

72 hours of rainfall accumulation ending 06:00 UTC on March 24, 2017

72 hours of rainfall accumulation ending 06:00 UTC on March 24, 2017. Credit: NASA/JAXA GPM, Google

Officials warned last week that the ground in many areas had been left saturated following heavy rains that have already affected more than 500 000 people and followed five years of drought, according to AFP.

"With the high level of rain, we are afraid that many homes… are submerged because the soil is saturated and can not absorb water," regional official Goncalves Namweya told the Lusa news agency on Friday.

Featured image credit: NASA/JAXA GPM, Google

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