Dar es Salaam, Dec 4 : The death toll from the floods and subsequent landslides in northern Tanzania caused by overnight torrential rains increased to 23 on Sunday afternoon.
Rescue efforts are underway to assist individuals trapped in the landslides on Hanang hills in the Hanang district of Manyara region, and retrieve bodies trapped in the debris, Xinhua news agency reported, citing local officials.
Queen Sendiga, commissioner of Manyara region, said Katesh town and the villages of Jorodom, Gendabi, Mogito and Gedan’gonyi as the most severely affected areas.
Describing the situation as “horrifying”, Sendiga told the news agency by phone that one village had been completely engulfed by mudflow, suggesting a potential rise in the number of casualties.
“The rescuers are extricating people and bodies trapped in fallen trees, stones and mudflow.Though we have confirmed 23 fatalities, the count could rise,” she said, noting that individuals displaced by house damage were being accommodated in three public schools.
Gabriel Mbogoni, a senior official from the Geological Survey of Tanzania, said that a team from the institution was en route to the area for investigations.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan has expressed condolences for the deceased and instructed relevant authorities to mount an immediate response.
She directed the Prime Minister’s Office responsible for disaster management, security agencies and the Ministry of Health to relocate to Manyara region to aid.
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