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Ethiopia: National mourning declared as landslide death toll rises to 72

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March 14, 2017 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopia Tuesday has declared a three-day national mourning period after 72 victims lost their lives in a tragic landslide at a dumping site in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

The dreadful incident happened on Saturday night when a huge garbage mountain in Koshe collapsed, flattening countless make shift houses.

Hundreds of poor Ethiopians reside in the dumping site, making a living off scavenging items like plastic bottles and recycled metals for sale. It is believed that over 500 waste-pickers make a living scavenging from the dumping site.

Koshe, the landfill where Addis Ababa’s rubbish and waste is taken was home to 106 households consisting of 297 families. The Addis Ababa city administration has since relocated the families.

The House of Peoples’ Representatives decided the three days of mourning would begin tomorrow. Accordingly, Ethiopian flags will fly at half-mast across the country, at embassies, council offices and all Ethiopian owned ships.

The parliament has expressed their deepest condolences and solace to the families of the victims. It was disclosed that the government was providing every necessary support to rehabilitate the families of those who lost their lives during the landslide.

Officials told the Sudan Tribune that the death toll from the incident has risen from 46 to 72 since Sunday and the death toll is expected to rise since the landslide covered a large area and it is believed that many bodies remain buried. Over 40 people have been rescued so far and rescue efforts continue in Koshe.

The cause of the landslide is still unknown.

(ST)

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