Mudslides kill at least 18 people

At least eighteen people were killed across Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan in a series of mudslides caused by torrential rain as the rainy season sets in, rescue services announced on Friday.


AFP - A series of mudslides caused by torrential rains have killed 18 people in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan, rescue services said Friday.

"The rains killed 18 people" overnight, Adama Coulibaly, who heads the Abidjan military rescue services in Abidjan, told AFP.

The downpour pounded the seaside city through Thursday night and sparked several mudslides which destroyed "flimsy homes" in the teeming working class areas of Yopougon and Attecoube, he added.

The tragedy occurred at the start of the rainy season which lasts some three months on West Africa's coast.

The rescue services remain on high alert and are expecting more mudslides, he said.

"People are building houses without any foundations and they are on the brink of collapse," Coulibaly said.

The rains have also severely damaged the main road from Abidjan to the political capital Yamoussoukro, blocking traffic.

In June last year a similar mudslide, also provoked by seasonal rains, killed eight people in Abidjan.

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