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24 People Dead as Landslide Hits Ethiopia

24 People Dead as Landslide Hits Ethiopia
The scene of the ill-fated occurrence 

At least 24 people were killed and 28 others injured in a giant landslide of garbage inside a trash dump on the outskirts of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, a city spokesman told a reporter on Sunday.

The landslide late Saturday levelled more than 30 makeshift homes of squatters living inside the Koshe landfill, said Dagmawit Moges, head of the city communications bureau. Many of the victims were squatters, who scavenged for valuables in the dump, he said.

“We expect the number of victims to increase because the landslide covered a relatively large area,” he said.

The Koshe site has for more than 50 years been one of the main garbage dumps for Addis Ababa, a rapidly growing city of some four million people.

In another account, Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma said 15 bodies had been recovered since the landslide at the Koshe Garbage Landfill buried several makeshift homes and concrete buildings.

Some residents in a state of mourning 

Bodies were taken away by ambulances after being pulled from the debris. Elderly women cried, and others stood anxiously waiting for news of loved ones. Six excavators dug through the ruins.

"My house was right inside there," a shaken Tebeju Asres said, pointing to where one of the excavators was digging in deep, black mud. "My mother and three of my sisters were there when the landslide happened. Now I don't know the fate of all of them."

About 150 people were there when the landslide occurred, resident Assefa Teklemahimanot said.

The mayor said 37 people had been rescued and were receiving medical treatment. Many people at the landfill had been scavenging items to make a living, but others were living there because renting homes, largely built of mud and sticks, is relatively inexpensive.

The resumption of garbage dumping at the site in recent months likely caused the landslide, Mr Teklemahimanot said.

The dumping had stopped in recent years, but it resumed after farmers in a nearby restive region, where a new garbage landfill complex was being built, blocked dumping in their area.

Smaller landslides have occurred at the Koshe landfill in the past two years but only two or three people were killed, Mr Teklermahimanot said.

"In the long run, we will conduct a resettling program to relocate people who live in and around the landfill," the Addis Ababa mayor said.
24 People Dead as Landslide Hits Ethiopia 24 People Dead as Landslide Hits Ethiopia Reviewed by on 3/13/2017 Rating: 5

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