At least 11 people died on Sunday when a landslide occurred in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon. The victims were attending a funeral. When the ground gave way beneath part of the audience at a memorial service for five individuals who had passed away, the victims had gathered atop a hill for the event.
The search was put on hold late on Sunday evening, with the intention of picking it back up first thing on Monday morning. Marie Claire Mendouga, who is 50 years old, was present for the ceremony, but the landslide did not damage the tent she was staying in. She explained what happened next by saying, “We had just begun to dance when the ground fell.” She stated that she “went to dig with my hands” in an effort to rescue people buried beneath the ground, and she was still covered in the brown clay that was present at the scene.
The tragedy occurred in Yaounde’s working-class neighborhood of Damas, which is located on the city’s eastern outskirts. On the highest point of the hill, at the edge of what appeared to be a crest, there were four enormous white tents. Behind these tents, the ground simply disappeared. In the early hours of Sunday evening, police pickup trucks were transporting remains that were covered with white sheets.
Due to the presence of a police cordon, journalists were unable to approach any closer to the incident. As a result, the emergency services had a difficult time making their way to the scene, where hundreds of people were searching desperately for loved ones. As first responders searched the scene, there were others in the audience who couldn’t hold back their tears.
The number of fatalities is still at 11, according to a member of the emergency services who asked not to be identified, and the hunt for additional victims is scheduled to resume on Monday morning. People in the throng behind the security cordon could be seen wiping away tears from their eyes. Mendouga stated, “I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to sleep at all tonight.” “You are seated; you have others behind you, and after you, they will pass away.”
There are landslides in Cameroon on a fairly regular basis, but they are not typically as devastating as the one that occurred in Yaounde on Sunday. In 2019, a landslide caused by heavy rains swept away a dozen risky buildings erected on the side of a hill in the city of Bafoussam, located in the western part of the country. 43 people were killed as a result of the collapse.