14 Apr 2024, 21:11

Tanzania heavy rains, floods kill 58 so far in April: govt

DAR ES SALAAM, April 14, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Heavy rains and flooding have killed at least 58 people, including children, in Tanzania since the beginning of April, a government spokesman said on Sunday.

"From April 1 to April 14, 2024, there were 58 deaths caused by the heavy rains, which led to flooding," Mobhare Matinyi told a press briefing, stressing that the coastal region of the East African country was one of the worst affected.

April marks the peak of the rainy season in Tanzania.

"Serious flood effects are experienced in the coast region where 11 people have so far died," he added.

On Friday, eight schoolchildren died after their bus plunged into a flooded gorge in the north of the country.

A volunteer in the rescue operations also died.

More than 10,000 households have been affected and over 75,000 farms have been damaged by flooding in the coastal and Morogoro areas -- located 200 kilometres (124 miles) west of the economic capital Dar es Salaam, the government spokesperson added.

This year's seasonal rains are exacerbated by the El Nino weather phenomenon, meteorologists have warned.

The naturally occurring El Nino, which emerged in mid-2023, usually increases global temperatures for one year afterwards.

It also can cause droughts in certain parts of the world and heavy rains in others.

Scientists from the World Weather Attribution group have said the rainfall in East Africa "was one of the most intense ever recorded" in the region between October and December.

"Climate change also contributed to the event, making the heavy rainfall up to two times more intense," they said, adding that the exact contribution of global warming was unknown.


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