Heavy rains and a subsequent dam burst led to a devastating landslide in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde on October 8, 2023. At least 30 people were killed in the disaster that occurred in the impoverished Mbankolo district.
The tragedy unfolded on the evening of October 8, 2023 (local time), when a dam near an artificial lake burst due to torrential rains, triggering a landslide in the Mbankolo district. Daouda Ousmanou, a local administrative official, said, “The water swept away everything in its path.”
The collapse of the hillside led to the destruction of approximately 30 houses made from wood, dried earth bricks, and metal sheeting. Images broadcast on public television depicted the torrential aftermath with rivers of water and mud flowing through the night.
Cyprien Djou, a local town hall official, pointed out the failure of a containment wall built by Germans. “The lake completely overflowed onto the homes built on the hillside,” he stated. Rescue operations were promptly initiated. “We immediately began looking for victims. The rescuers already found us at the site,” Djou added.
Commander Bomba Etoundi of the fire service confirmed that 30 people lost their lives and another 17 sustained injuries. Rescue teams are still actively searching for victims in the Mbankolo district, which is home to a population of 3 million and is one of the highest areas in Yaounde.
Civil protection organizations had issued warnings about the high risk of landslides in the Mbankolo district for several years prior to this event.
1 Heavy rain triggers landslide in Cameroon, claiming at Least 30 lives – EFE – October 9, 2023
2 Landslide triggered by heavy rain kills 27 in Cameroon – AFP – October 9, 2023
Featured image credit: africanews (stillshot)
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