Tanzania flood, landslide death toll jumps to 47

Credit: REUTERS/Antony Njuguna

DAR ES SALAAM, Dec 4 (Reuters) - The number of people killed by floods and landslides in northern Tanzania has jumped to 47, with another 85 people injured, following torrential rain, a senior government official said.

Severe flooding caused by a combination of the El Nino and Indian Ocean dipole weather phenomena has killed hundreds of people in Kenya and Somalia and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes since seasonal rains began in October.

Search and rescue operations were underway in the Manyara region as authorities fear some bodies might be trapped in the mud, Manyara region commissioner Queen Sendiga told reporters late on Sunday.

"As of the evening, we have rescued 85 injured persons who are continuing with the treatments and others have been discharged. The death toll has increased to 47 people," she said.

Around 100 houses in the village of Katesh, Hanang district, were swallowed by a landslide, President Samia Suluhu Hassan said in a video message posted online by the ministry of health.

"We are very shocked by this event," Suluhu said.

Climate change is causing more intense and more frequent extreme weather events, according to climate scientists.

(Reporting by Nuzulack Dausen; Writing by Hereward Holland; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

((hereward.holland@thomsonreuters.com; +254 20 499 1232; Reuters Messaging: hereward.holland.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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