Ethiopia Rubbish Dump Landslide

Rescue workers are searching for survivors of a landslide that has killed 50 people at a vast dump in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

Officials say the death toll for the Saturday night landslide at the Koshe landfill is likely to rise. A resident said 150 people were there at the time.

A number of makeshift houses are now buried under tonnes of waste.

The area has been a dumping ground for Addis Ababa’s rubbish for more than five decades.

Rescuers are using bulldozers and even bare hands to move tonnes of debris as the search for survivors and dead bodies continues.

City authorities say dozens of people are still unaccounted for and could be buried under the rubble.

Dozens of others have been treated and discharged from a local hospital.

A city spokeswoman told AP news agency that many children were among the dead.

Local resident Musa Suleiman Abdulah told AFP he heard “a big sound” and saw “something like a tornado… rushing to us” when the landslide occurred.

Tebeju Asres said that the family’s house had been swallowed by the landslide.

“My mother and three of my sisters were there when the landslide happened. Now I don’t know the fate of all of them,” he told AP.

Families relocated: Emmanuel Igunza, BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

Families that lived in makeshift houses near the area have gathered at the scene to seek information about missing relatives even as hopes fade of finding anyone alive.

Many of them are huddled in small groups talking in low tones, others crying and sobbing loudly.

Hundreds of people attempt to make a living here by scavenging at the landfill site, sifting through the rubbish for items they can sell.

Some people even resided at the rubbish dump permanently.

Communication Minister Negeri Lencho has said all survivors will be resettled elsewhere. So far, about 200 families have been relocated.

The authorities have been building Africa’s first waste-to-energy plant near the landfill.

They plan to burn rubbish generated by the capital’s estimated four million people and convert it into electricity.

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