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IVORY COAST: 10 people killed in heavy rains

AT least 10 people have died in the heavy rains and landslides pummeling Abidjan, Ivory Coast officials told AFP.

The count was a provisional toll as of Friday, according to the military’s firefighting brigade GSPM.

“We recorded 10 deaths, nine in Yopougon and one in Cocody-Angre,” two districts of Abidjan, the country’s largest city and economic hub, Anicet Bah, GSPM captain and deputy head of operations, told AFP.

In the industrial zone Yopougon, the first landslide struck around 3:00 am on Thursday, causing four deaths and one injury, he added.

In the same area, a second landslide left seven people injured and another four dead, including a child, he said.

Not far from there, in Attecoube-Mossikro, another body was pulled from the landslide at dawn.
Closer to the city centre, in Cocody, “one person was swept away by the waters” and the body was later found by residents.

The firefighters were told another three victims had been washed away, but Bah said the operation to find them had been called off after a search that was “in vain”.

June and July bring heavy rain to Ivory Coast every year, but precarious construction has led to more flood-prone areas, particularly in poorer neighbourhoods of the swelling West African metropolis, which is home to an estimated 5.6 million people.

In mid-June, a family of five — a couple and their three children — died in a landslide in Yopougon.

The populous district was hit by tragedy during last year’s rainy season as well, when six people were buried in a landslide after a night of heavy rain.

Last month, the government reported that 15 children have died in weather-related incidents since the beginning of the year.

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