MUDSLIDE CATASTROPHE: Death toll rises to 63

  • PM leads mourners to pay last respects to victims
  • Condolence messages pour in

MANYARA, Hanang :THE number of casualties in the Hanang mudslide catastrophe has risen to 63, according to Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa.

The deceased include 40 women and 23 men, while 116 others are still recuperating at different hospitals.

Mr Majaliwa, who led mourners in paying final respects to the victims of last weekend’s deluge at Katesh Primary School grounds, described the incident as an ‘unforeseen calamity’ that caught the country off guard.

“This is one of the biggest calamities to have faced Tanzania, leaving behind a trail of destruction,” explained the PM at the somber setting.

The visibly shaken Prime Minister, who spent the better part of on Monday visiting the four most affected wards in Hanang District, Manyara Region, expressed deep sorrow for the tragic accident.

He equally called for calm among Manyara residents and Tanzania in general, as rescuers continue combing through mud-covered houses and debris, searching for dozens of people missing after a deadly mudslide hit Hanang District at the weekend.

“It is most likely that there could be people buried in the thick mud,” he said.

According to the Premier, a military chopper deployed by the Tanzania People’s Defence Force (TPDF) will be used to trace and locate missing persons.

Mr Majaliwa also paid tribute to Katesh residents, describing them as first responders when disaster struck.

On the night of December 3, 2023, Hanang District was beset by a catastrophic natural disaster.

Torrential downpours triggered massive mudslides, causing a part of Mount Hanang to collapse.

In a show of vigilance, the Tanzanian government has since mobilised 350 soldiers from the TPDF soldiers to aid in rescue operations.

A member of the search and rescue task force searches for a victim. (Photos by PMO)

Already, three local schools have been converted into relief centres.

The establishments will be providing the displaced victims with not just shelter but also essentials like food, water, and security.

Earlier on, Bishop Anthony Lagwen from the Mbulu Catholic Diocese sought divine intervention in times of disasters.

The somber mood that engulfed Katesh Primary School grounds, was routinely punctuated by wails whenever Ambulances that carried the dead made their way in.

Meanwhile messages of condolences continued to pour following the death of 63 people due to catastrophic mudslide as result of heavy rains last Sunday at Hanang District, Manyara Region, reports ALLY MAYALA.

Zanzibar President, Dr Hussein Mwinyi extended his heartfelt condolences in a statement released by the Isles Directorate of Presidential Communications.

“President Mwinyi received the news of the disaster with great shock and has received the news of devastating mudslide with great shock as it has claimed the lives of many people, leaving many more seriously injured, causing destruction of infrastructures and properties,” read the statement.

According to the statement, Dr. Mwinyi said that Zanzibar will stand by Mainland Tanzania.

He pledged to keep praying for the almighty God to grant peace to the departed and for those affected by the destruction and displacement of their properties to return to normalcy.

The United State of America’s (USA) Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Michael Battle through his X account (formerly twitter) said he was deeply saddened by the disaster.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of the devastating mudslides happening in Manyara. We grieve with Tanzanians across the country at this tragic loss of life and livelihoods,” Mr Battle said, adding; “The thought and players of the entire US Mission to Tanzania are with all those impacted by this natural disaster. The United States stands by our longtime friend and partner Tanzania at this time.”

The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM)’s Management also released the condolences’ statement, saying among others the university extends prayers to the deceased.

“We are praying for the deceased to rest in peace and the injured to get well soon,” read the UDSM’s statement.

According to the statement, the university has deployed seismologists and geologists to cooperate with the government on researching the root cause of the disaster and plan on how to minimise its impact.

The ruling party’s CCM Ideology and Publicity Secretary, Mr. Paul Makonda, stated that the party supports the government’s efforts to offer aid to all individuals affected by the disaster in Hanang District.

“It is a time of sadness for our relatives who were engaged in their daily economic activities. Unfortunately, they lost their lives as a result of the heavy rainfall,” Mr. Makonda said.

READ MORE; http://Deadly mudslide hits Hanang

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