Heavy rain kills 14 in Niger

At least 14 people, mostly children, have died in Niger and 11 in Ivory Coast after heavy rains this week triggered landslides and caused homes to collapse, UN and local officials said Friday.

The UN’s humanitarian affairs office OCHA said 14 people had died when houses collapsed in Niger’s capital Niamey with another four missing. Nine children were reported dead there earlier this week.

In Ivory Coast’s economic capital, Abidjan, the toll from the rains climbed from eight to 11 on Friday, with one person unaccounted for and hundreds affected by landslides and flooding, rescue workers said.

“If the rain continues, we’re going to have a lot to do,” said Vital Oulai who runs the military firefighting unit.

West Africa’s rainy season, which lasts three to four months, regularly causes fatalities and damage across Abidjan’s hillside shack communities, with 16 people killed last year and 39 in 2014.

In Niger, this week’s rain destroyed 350 homes, leaving 3,000 people homeless. Last year, 50 people died in flooding in the country.

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AFP

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