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Flooding kills 155, affects 200,000 as heavy rains batter Eastern Africa


 |  Kathmandu

Schoolchildren stranded on a damaged River Zingiziwa bridge in Dar Esalaam, Tanzania Thursday, April 25, 2024. (Photo: AP)

Flooding in Tanzania caused by weeks of heavy rain has killed 155 people and affected more than 200,000 others, the prime minister said Thursday.

That is more than double the number of deaths reported two weeks ago as the amount of rainfall increases, especially in the coastal region and the capital, Dar es Salaam.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa told parliament that the El Niño climate pattern has worsened the ongoing rainy season, causing the flooding and destroying roads, bridges and railways. Flooded schools have been closed and emergency services have rescued people marooned by the flood waters.

Majaliwa warned those living in low-lying areas to move to higher ground and urged district officials to ensure that provisions meant for those whose homes were washed away go to those in need of the supplies. He said more than 51,000 households have been affected by the rains.

The East African region is experiencing heavy rains, with flooding also reported in neighboring Burundi and Kenya.

In Kenya, 35 people were reported dead as of Monday, and the number was expected to increase as flooding continues across the country.

In the Mathare slum in the capital, Nairobi, at least four bodies were retrieved from flooded houses on Wednesday. Local media reported that more bodies were retrieved from the Mathare River.

Kenyan President William Ruto chaired a multi-agency flood response meeting on Thursday and directed the National Youth Service to provide land for people in flood-affected areas. (AP)



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