Tanzania’s death toll from heavy rain rises to 40

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The death toll from ongoing heavy rain in Tanzania rose from 30 to 40 on Saturday, said police.

Edward Bukombe, Tanga regional police commander, said a car ferrying 10 people was swept away by raging waters at dawn on Saturday after the driver had tried to drive through a flooded river in Handeni district, bringing to 40 the total number of people killed by current rains in the east African nation.

“The driver was warned not to cross over the flooded river because its bridge had broken down but he insisted driving through,” Bukombe told Xinhua in a telephone interview.

Last week police reported from Morogoro and Tanga regions that a total of 30 people were killed by flash floods in the two regions.

On Thursday, The Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) issued a third alert in one month saying heavy rains were expected in parts of the country for five consecutive days beginning Friday.

TMA said in its weather forecast that the rains were expected Tanga, Kagera and Geita regions and the Zanzibar twin Islands of Pemba and Unguja.

The rains have also damaged infrastructure, including roads, bridges, crop farms and housing.

TMA said the rains were expected to disrupt transport and delivery of social services, submerge houses and cause flash floods in some parts of the country.

In May 2019, uninterrupted rainfall also caused serious flooding in Dar es Salaam, resulting in the displacement of over 1,000 households and the destruction of more than 1,500 dwellings and important infrastructure.

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