(LONDON) — At least 63 people have died and 116 have been injured after torrential rains triggered deadly flash floods and landslides in northern Tanzania, Tanzania’s prime minister has announced.
“We have received the blessing of heavy rain in the Katesh area, Hanang district, Manyara region which unfortunately has also brought a flood disaster,” said Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hasan writing on X — formerly known as Twitter. “I have directed our disaster response agencies in this area where they have already started work to help rescue and prevent more disasters from happening.”
Zuhura Yunus, spokesperson for Tanzania’s president’s office, said that at least 1,150 households and 5,600 people have been affected and at least 750 acres of farmland destroyed.
Footage broadcast on local media showed vehicles and debris being swept down roads by currents of water, civilians wading through water and cars stuck in thick mud.
Tanzania’s Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa visited the Manyara region on Monday to assess the situation and meet victims and local officials.
On Tuesday paying a temporary camp in the Manyara Region where victims of the flooding, many of whose houses were damaged in the flood disaster, were seeking shelter.
Tanzania’s President Samia Sululu Hasan, who was in Dubai attending the COP28 climate conference, cut short her trip to attend to the crisis following the disaster.
Speaking at the climate conference, she warned that implementing a global goal on adaptation framework is a “matter of urgency, not choice.
“The decision is therefore ours to adhere to science or face the consequences,” said Saluhu.
Tanzania, which has one of the smallest carbon footprints in Africa, has suffered increasing climate-related disasters with at least 15,700 people having died so far in extreme weather disasters in Africa in 2023, according to Carbon Brief.
U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania Michael Battle said he is “deeply saddened” by the mudslides that occurred in Tanzania’s Manyara region.
“We grieve with Tanzanians across the country at this tragic loss of life and livelihoods. The thoughts and prayers of the entire U.S. Mission to Tanzania are with all those impacted by this natural disaster,” said Battle.
Tanzania’s Prime Minister’s Office announced that search and rescue operations will continue and that Tanzania’s defence forces and rescue teams are searching for survivors and the bodies of those killed as damaged roads and bridges are complicating rescue efforts.
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