14 killed in landslide at Cameroon funeral

November 28, 2022
Rescuers prepare to carry a body after the landslide.
Rescuers prepare to carry a body after the landslide.

YAOUNDE — At least 14 people were killed in a landslide during a funeral ceremony in Cameroon’s capital on Sunday, officials said, as rescuers continued the search for the missing.

The disaster occurred as people gathered on a football pitch at the base of a 20-meter-high soil embankment in Yaounde.

Witnesses told the Reuters news agency that the embankment collapsed on top of dozens of people.

“At the scene, we counted 10 bodies, but before our arrival four bodies already had been taken away,” said Paul Bea, the governor of the Center region that includes Yaounde.

“There are also a dozen serious cases dispersed in hospitals,” he said.

The governor described the area where the landslide took place as a “very dangerous spot” and encouraged people to stay away from the Damas district in Yaounde’s eastern outskirts.

Among those who survived was 50-year-old Marie Claire Mendouga.

“We had just started to dance when the ground collapsed,” she told the AFP news agency.

She said she “went to dig with my hands” to try to get people out from under the earth and was still covered in the brown clay from the site.

Landslides occur relatively frequently in Cameroon but are rarely as deadly as Sunday’s incident in Yaounde.

Forty-three people were killed in the western city of Bafoussam in 2019 when a landslide triggered by heavy rains swept away a dozen precarious dwellings built on the side of a hill. — Agencies

November 28, 2022
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