Ethiopia landslide death toll sours to 113

A woman carries a photograph as she mourns her family members suspected to be missing following a landslide when a mound of trash collapsed on an informal settlement at the Koshe garbage dump in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, March 14, 2017. Photo: REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri
ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has declared three days of national mourning for victims of a landslide at a rubbish landfill site in the capital Addis Ababa.

Flags flew at half-mast on Wednesday as the government announced that the death toll from the disaster that occurred at the 50-year-old Reppi dump on Saturday evening had risen to at least 113 people.

On Tuesday, at least 17 bodies were pulled out from the site and buried at the nearby Abune Aregawi Church, attended by hundreds of grief-stricken family members.

Emergency workers and police officers in Reppi told Reuters that the total number had risen to 82 by Tuesday evening.

By Wednesday evening, the figure was reported to be at 113.

Dagmawit Moges, spokeswoman of the capital’s administration, said search operations at the site were ongoing.

READ: Ethiopia rubbish landslide death toll soars

“Searches are taking place and the number could rise,” she said.

Hundreds of people live on the dump, the city’s only landfill site. Some of the victims had scavenged for food and items that could be sold, such as recyclable metal.

The landslide destroyed dozens of homes.

Ethiopia is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, but the drive to industrialise has also stoked discontent among those who feel left behind.

In October, the government imposed a national state of emergency after more than 500 people were killed in protests in Oromiya region as anger over a development scheme sparked broader anti-government demonstrations.


Category : MEDIA.
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