At least 69 people, more than one-half of them children, have died in Angola because of the torrential rain that fell onto the city of Lobito this week. Rescue crews continued to sift through ruined homes and wade through floodwater Saturday as they searched for more victims.
Located in southern Africa, Angola is washed by heavy downpours almost every spring, and large areas of the country have been hit by a nearly constant outpouring of rainfall since January this year. A storm that struck Lobito on the nation’s Atlantic Coast Wednesday destroyed at least 119 homes and eight schools. The heavy rains also engendered landslides, pushing water into the city and leaving mud on its streets, Agence France-Presse reported.
“The water streamed down the slope at full speed, destroying everything in its path and flooding the low-lying areas of the city close to the shoreline,” AFP quoted one Lobito firefighter as saying.
Floodwater has reached 9.8 feet high in some areas of Lobito, BBC News reported, citing the official Angola News Agency. President Jose Eduardo Santos has called on local authorities to provide aid to the storm victims.
Elsewhere in Angola, at least one person died and scores were left homeless in the capital Luanda, where rain destroyed 137 homes there this week, BBC News said, again citing state media.