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Tanzanian President Hassan inspects site of severe flash floods, landslides, raising death toll to 76

President Samia Suluhu Hassan
Samia Suluhu Hassan

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Thursday traveled to Manyara region and inspected the devastation caused by flash floods and landslides in the region’s Hanang district happening Sunday.

Briefing the president, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jenista Mhagama said the death toll from the Dec. 3 deluge had risen to 76 from 69 Wednesday, adding the deluge had also left more than 5,600 people homeless, and 750 farm crops destroyed and many livestock killed.

“About 440 people out of the 5,600 that have been made homeless are staying in three shelters in schools while others were staying with relatives,” said Mhagama.

A team of 1,285 officials from defense and security departments were continuing to search for more bodies, she added.

“The government will meet your medical expenses, food, and other necessities in your journey to recovery,” President Hassan assured them after she inspected the site of devastation and visited patients admitted to hospitals, and those staying in shelters.

Addressing a public rally in Katesh town, one of the most affected areas, Hassan urged residents in the Manyara region to take precautionary measures against epidemics, including cholera that could be caused by deterioration in water supply after water sources were damaged.

She also ordered defense and security organs to strengthen security in the affected areas.
“I have also directed responsible ministries to dispatch counseling officers to help people affected by the disaster to recover,” said the head of state.

Mobhare Matinyi, the chief government spokesperson and director of Information Services, at a news conference held in Katesh town Wednesday, said that devastating disasters were not caused by volcanic eruptions, citing investigations by geologists with the Ministry of Minerals and the Geological Survey of Tanzania have ruled out volcanic eruptions.

According to the experts, rocks on Hanang hills became loose after soaking too much water from the heavy rains, leading to landslides and mudflow Sunday.

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