At least 23 people lost their lives after floods and subsequent landslides caused by overnight torrential rains wreaked havoc in northern Tanzania on Sunday afternoon, Xinhua reported citing local officials.
According to the report, efforts were underway to assist those trapped in the landslides on Hanang hills in the Hanang district of the Manyara region and retrieve bodies trapped in the debris.
The commissioner of the Manyara region, Queen Sendiga, said the Katesh town and the villages of Jorodom, Gendabi, Mogito and Gedan’gonyi were among the most severely affected areas.
Xinhua reported that the commissioner described the situation as ‘horrifying’, saying 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 a team from the institution was en route to the area for investigations.
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan expressed condolences to the kin of 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 extend necessary assistance to affected locals in the Manyara region, Xinhua reported.