Heavy rains and landslides kill at least 65 in Tanzania

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Houses, roads and bridges have been destroyed in the East African country, complicating ongoing rescue efforts.

At least 65 people have been killed in landslides and flooding triggered by heavy rainfall in northern Tanzania, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said on Tuesday, revising the death toll of 68 given by regional officials a day earlier.

Torrential downpours over the weekend washed away vehicles and brought down buildings in the hillside town of Katesh, 300km (185 miles) north of the capital, Dodoma.

“Two more bodies were found in the ongoing search and now the death toll has reached 65,” Majaliwa said.

Images broadcast on television showed debris from houses, including furniture, strewn across streets, with key roads, power lines and communication networks disrupted.

“From around five in the morning [on Sunday], I heard loud bangs outside the house. When we tried to escape, it was too late because mud, trees, and stones were rolling from the mountain,” said a man named James, who lost his wife and daughter in the disaster.

Some 5,600 people have been displaced by the landslides, said Mobhare Matinyi, a government spokesperson.

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Rashid Ntandu, 24, lost his house in the disaster and found shelter in a school in Katesh which has been turned into a refuge centre.

“I believe there are more bodies covered by mud,” he said.

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