Tanzania floods and landslides kill more than 150 – PM Kassim Majaliwa


Severe floods and landslides have struck Tanzania, causing the deaths of at least 155 people due to heavy rains caused by El Niño. The Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, warned that the rains may continue into May and urged families to evacuate from flood-prone areas to ensure their safety.

The disaster has affected about 200,000 people and over 51,000 households, with widespread destruction of homes, crops, and infrastructure like roads and bridges. Many families have lost everything, with homes swept away by the floods.

In neighbouring Kenya and Burundi, heavy rains have also caused a humanitarian crisis. President William Ruto of Kenya has ordered the army to assist with rescue operations as the rains have caused significant damage, including the loss of lives and destruction of homes.

In Tanzania, residents have reported devastating losses, with one person in the Siha district saying, “I have nothing left, everything has been wiped away.”

The situation is dire in Kenya as well, where more than 10 people have died this week alone, adding to the total death toll of at least 45 since March. Homes in slum areas of Nairobi have been washed away, along with belongings.

In Burundi, nearly 100,000 people have been displaced by heavy rains, further exacerbating the crisis in the region.

The heavy rains and flooding are partly attributed to the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), a weather phenomenon similar to El Niño. When both El Niño and a positive IOD occur simultaneously, as was the case last year, the rains in East Africa can become extreme.

Historically, severe flooding during such weather patterns has resulted in significant loss of life and destruction of property in the region. In 1997 and 1998, one of the strongest positive IOD patterns coincided with a powerful El Niño, leading to devastating floods and thousands of deaths across multiple countries in East Africa.

Efforts are underway to provide assistance to those affected by the floods and landslides, but the situation remains challenging due to the widespread devastation and displacement of communities. Governments and humanitarian organizations are working together to provide relief and support to affected populations.


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