The emergency services in the capital city of Cameroon, Yaoundé, have reported that landslides triggered by recent heavy rains have claimed the lives of at least 30 persons.
A number of people are still missing and local sources said that the death toll currently stands at forty. Flooding made it difficult for rescue workers to do their jobs, so people had to dig bodies out of the rubble using their bare hands.
The Mefou River overflowed its banks on Sunday as a result of the heavy rains that occurred, which led to the flooding of various neighborhoods.
The destitute neighborhood of Mbankolo, where a great number of dwellings were built precariously on a hillside, was the neighborhood that was hit the worst.
Flooding, according to Ymele Guy, a local homeowner, was responsible for the death of his child.
He saw the disaster and just when he was informing his wife that things were bad, in a fraction of a second, his children and him were being submerged, according to him. He was able to save his wife as well as at least three of his children. However, unfortunately he was unable to save his fourth child.
During the rainy season in Yaoundé, there is a high risk of landslides, and one that occurred the previous year resulted in the deaths of at least 14 people attending a funeral.
During the tragic event that took place on Sunday, the surging floods were responsible for the destruction of homes.
One house had been reduced to little more than a corridor, providing those who were helping the injured and those who were grieving with a fast cut.
As a result of the magnitude of the catastrophe, on Monday there was a large turnout of people from other areas to view the destruction in the neighborhood.
Minister of the Interior Paul Atanga Nji implored residents and others to evacuate the area because the soil is unstable.
Despite the fact that temporary housing is still being constructed, many locals continue to reside in the area. "We are organizing rescue efforts, mattresses, and blankets," he said, adding that a three-month-old infant was among those rescued.
According to United Nations climate experts, poverty and inadequate infrastructure make communities like Mbankolo more susceptible to extreme weather, such as heavy rainfall, which is becoming more frequent and intense in Africa as a result of climate change.
As Cameroon began discharging water from its Lagdo Dam on Saturday, authorities in neighboring Nigeria issued a flood advisory for nine states.
According to Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency (Nema), this is anticipated to occur until the end of this month, while Cameroon's dam is expected to release water until the end of October.
The discharge of water is necessary due to heavy rainfall in the country's northern region. Officials added that the release would be minimal. aThe discharge of water from the dam caused flooding and fatalities in Nigeria a year ago, particularly in the state of Benue, which borders Cameroon.