At least 47 dead in Tanzania landslides

December 04, 2023

DAR ES SALAAM: At least 47 people were killed and 85 others injured in landslides caused by flooding in northern Tanzania, a local official announced on Sunday, with warnings the toll would rise.

Heavy rain on Saturday hit the town of Katesh, some 300 kilometres (186 miles) north of the capital Dodoma, district commissioner Janeth Mayanja said. “Up to this evening, the death toll reached 47 and 85 injured,” Queen Sendiga, regional commissioner in the Manyara area of northern Tanzania, told local media.

This representational image shows an aerial view of the landslide in the Las Calaveras neighbourhood in Guatemala City on November 22, 2023. — AFP

Mayanja warned the death toll was “likely to increase”. Tanzania´s President Samia Suluhu Hassan, in Dubai for the COP28 climate conference, sent her condolences and said she had ordered the deployment of “more government efforts to rescue people”.

After experiencing an unprecedented drought, East Africa has been hit for weeks by torrential rain and flooding linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon. The downpours have displaced more than a million people in Somalia and left hundreds dead. El Nino is a naturally occurring weather pattern that originates in the Pacific Ocean and drives increased heat worldwide, bringing drought to some areas and heavy rains elsewhere.