World Bulletin / News Desk
At least 14 people have been killed and thousands displaced after heavy floods ravaged Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's commercial capital, officials have said.
"The victims drowned in different parts of the city," Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Said Mecky Sadick told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
He cautioned that the death toll could rise further, as roads have been damaged and several bridges swept away.
"Heavy rains and floods caused massive destruction of roads, bridges and drainage systems," Sadick said.
He added that a number of roads linking Dar es Salaam to the rest of the country had been cut.
Works Minister John Magufuli called on bus passengers and owners to exercise patience, describing the floods as a "national disaster."
He said that engineers from the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) had been deployed since the flooding began and were working around the clock to repair damaged bridges.
"I have directed all TANROADS regional engineers to postpone their Easter holidays and instead ensure that the damaged bridges are quickly repaired," Magufuli told AA.
Nevertheless, many residents are returning to their flood-prone areas with little regard for the government warnings.
"Where do you want us to go? We have nowhere else to go," said Ramadhani Abdalah, a resident of Dar es Salaam's Jangwani administrative ward.
"What is the big surprise when the government knows this situation… it [the flooding] has been like this, killing us every year," he fumed.
In a late Monday address, President Jakaya Kikwete urged the public to show patience.
"I sympathize with you, but this is a natural disaster that we have no control over," he said.Last Mod: 15 Nisan 2014, 17:08