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March 5, 2024
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Flooding In Cameroon Results In Search And Rescue Mission, Highlighting Climate Change Impact
Residents look at the destruction caused by a landslide in the district of Mbankolo, northwest of Yaounde, Cameroon, Oct. 9, 2023. Heavy rains caused a section of a hillside covered in precariously built houses to collapse. © AFP

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Flooding in Cameroon Results in Search and Rescue Mission, Highlighting Climate Change Impact

A search and rescue mission is underway in Cameroon following severe flooding that occurred on Sunday. Authorities are working diligently to sift through the rubble in hopes of saving lives, as stated by Daouda Ousmanou, the top government official in the district.

The bodies of flood victims have been taken to a morgue for identification, while the injured have been rushed to nearby hospitals. Yaounde General Hospital reported receiving 12 injured individuals, including a 7-year-old girl. Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji, assured that all medical treatment for the injured would be provided free of charge. He also expressed condolences on behalf of President Paul Biya to the families who lost loved ones.

Experts note that flooding has become increasingly common in Cameroon, particularly in recent years, attributing it to the effects of climate change. The destruction caused by the flooding was further exacerbated by substandard construction practices that bypassed local regulations.

In an effort to mitigate future risks, Cameroonian authorities have been demolishing houses and buildings in high-risk areas prone to flooding. Many of the structures destroyed in Sunday’s flooding had already been marked for demolition.

The incident underscores the urgent need for climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in Cameroon and other regions affected by similar challenges. It highlights the importance of enforcing building codes and regulations to ensure the construction of resilient infrastructure capable of withstanding extreme weather events.

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