© Leclerc Tsakem
Nearly 30 people have been killed after heavy rains in the region triggered landslides in the Cameroon capital city of Yaounde, according to media reports citing officials on Monday (Oct 9). This comes after heavy rains led to a section of a hillside covered with precarious houses to collapse.

What happened?

Several local media reports citing officials have said that at least 27 people have been killed while dozens of others are missing. Meanwhile, rescue efforts were hampered by floods but continued on Monday after a landslide in the district of Mbankolo, northwest of Yaounde, on Sunday evening.

A report by BBC citing a local radio station said that the death toll could be as high as 40 since many people are still missing and residents have been forced to pull bodies out of the debris with their bare hands due to the floods.

The poor neighbourhood of Mbankolo is said to be among the worst affected by the disaster. According to public broadcaster CRTV and a local official, torrential rainfall caused a dam containing a man-made lake situated on higher ground to burst.

As per AFP, Paul Atanga Nji, minister of territorial administration, who was at the site said that the death toll has risen to 27 after rescuers had previously reported 23. He also said that the houses were built "in a dangerous area".

"Yesterday we pulled out 15 people who had died and this morning we have found eight," fire service official David Petatoa Poufong told reporters. He added, "We are still looking."

Housing and Urban Development Minister Celestine Ketcha Court told BBC that the team of rescuers would "work all day long to continue finding people".

An AFP journalist reported that a couple of exhausted-looking local residents were seen holding corners of a large sheet carrying what one said were the bodies of two children.

'Water swept away everything'

The local police have cordoned off the site as rescue operations continued. Images broadcast on TV showed an entire section of a hill had collapsed with parts of the houses that remained apparently constructed from wood, dried earth bricks and metal sheeting, reported AFP.

"There was a landslide after heavy rain. The water swept away everything in its path," Daouda Ousmanou, a local administrative official told public radio. Meanwhile, the CRTV has reported that as many as 30 houses were destroyed after a sea of mud.

"We've seen the wall, which had been built by the Germans to contain the water, buckle under the pressure," Cyprien Djou, a local town hall official told AFP. He added, "The lake completely overflowed onto the homes built on the hillside."

(With inputs from agencies)