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Deadly mudslide claims 42 lives in Cameroonian town of Bafoussam

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At least 42 bodies, including those of 26 children, had already been extracted Tuesday night from the rubble, following the landslide that occurred the night before in the Cameroonian town of Bafoussam (West).

In total, at the time when rescuers were suspending research at 20:00 (local time) at Gouache 4, 42 dead, 36 of whom were formally identified, including four pregnant women, had already been removed from the rubble of the 11 gutted houses, both on the mountainside and in the valley lying below. This is according to a report by Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji, released on Tuesday, 29 October 2019.

Dispatched to the scene of the disaster, Paul Atanga Nji and his colleague of Urban Development and Housing, Celestine Ketcha Courtes, are expected on Wednesday, 30 October 2019, to hold a meeting with residents and local authorities. The purpose of the meeting is not only to determine the emergency measures to be taken for the development of the disaster area, but also to examine ways and means to enforce the urban planning and building regulations in the area.

According to sources close to the case, forced evictions and relocations should take place in the days to come, according to the government “to prevent such catastrophes from happening in the future.”

A security perimeter is already being demarcated at Gouache 4, where the risk of a new landslide is feared, as heavy rains continue to fall in the area.

Tuesday evening, President Paul Biya expressed his strong emotion through a message of condolences to the families of the victims, while the government announced the release of an emergency aid of 25 million CFA francs for the victims.

Local sources told journalists on Wednesday morning, 30 October 2019, in a phone conversation that relief had just resumed on the site, with little hope of finding survivors.

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