World Bulletin / News Desk
Six people, including three children, were killed in a landslide triggered by heavy rains in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital Abidjan on Thursday.
Director of the National Office for Civil Protection confirmed the death toll to Anadolu Agency, saying dozens were also injured in the mishap that occurred in slum neighborhoods northeast of the city.
“We can confirm that six people, including three children from the same mother, were killed in the landslide caused by heavy rains today in Abidjan,” Gen. Fiacre Kili said.
“The incident occurred in Mossikro and Banco 1 in the commune of Attecoube early this morning. We have some injured who are currently taking treatment,” he said.
An eyewitness told AA that a mass of earth collapsed on the shacks built on the side or bottom of hills, which made it difficult for rescue agents to intervene promptly.
“It was raining heavily, with strong winds and suddenly we heard a huge trembling and a dropping sound and then cries,” Martin Fitini said.
“We tried to call the rescue line and some courageous neighbours like me even dared to come out to help, but the mass of earth was high and water was flowing everywhere with strong winds and trees bending like they would fall on top of you,” he said.
Many deaths caused by landslides are registered every year during the raining seasons, mostly in the shanty towns of Abidjan.
Since 2012, the Ivorian government has been distributing a package of $300 to families to relocate from the slums to avoid calamities during rainy periods but many say the sum cannot rent a new house in a city of six million people with a yearly deficit of 200,000 accommodations, according to the ministry of housing and construction.
Kili said his office began a public enlightenment campaign last month to persuade inhabitants of slums to move to safer areas.
A number of such neighbourhoods were scraped this year by the authorities, sparking the anger of locals and human rights groups.Last Mod: 06 Haziran 2014, 10:09