The toll from severe landslides triggered by heavy rains in northern Tanzania has risen to at least 57 people, as authorities fear the possibility of more casualties. The city of Katesh, situated approximately 300 kilometers north of the capital Dodoma, has been grappling with torrential rains since Saturday, resulting in substantial mudflows that swept away numerous vehicles and residences.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who curtailed her participation in the COP28 climate summit in Dubai due to the catastrophe, reported, “We have lost 57 of our brothers and sisters in this disaster so far, with 85 still receiving medical care.” This updated figure, released on Monday, surpasses the initial count of 47 casualties provided on Sunday.
Search and rescue operations, supported by the military, continue as of Monday, with efforts concentrated on locating individuals potentially trapped beneath the mud, according to Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa during his visit to Katesh.
Television broadcasts showcased streets strewn with debris from damaged homes, highlighting the extent of the devastation, while disruptions in traffic and electricity distribution added to the challenges faced by the affected region.
Paschal Paulo, a resident, recounted how the torrents swept away everything at the market where he worked.
Queen Sendiga, a regional official, reported that around a hundred houses were engulfed by the mudflows. Despite ongoing rescue efforts, the situation remains critical, emphasizing the need for continued support and assistance in the aftermath of this natural disaster.