Addis Ababa, March 14, 2017 (TNE): The Ethiopian parliament on Tuesday declared a three-day national mourning for 72 citizens who lost their lives following a massive garbage dump landslide on the outskirts of Addis Ababa.
Head of Addis Ababa City Administration Communication Affairs Office, Dagmawit Moges, said during the three-day national mourning period, from Wednesday to Friday, the country’s flags would fly at half mast.
Moges said the hope of finding missing residents alive was almost unlikely, many more bodies could still be found as the search continues “day and night” at the site where the landslide occurred.
According to him, in an effort to avoid the impact of similar other tragic incidents, the city administration had already evacuated 320 inhabitants from the area.
A committee particularly designated to properly respond to the crisis has been also established by the municipality.
He said that as the death toll increased from the initial 15 to 72, the city administration had organised a public funeral and memorial service for victims of the tragic accident.
Hundreds of emergency personnel from the Addis Ababa city Fire and Emergency Prevention and Rescue Agency and Addis Ababa Police Commission are also undertaking humanitarian activities at the site where the landslide occurred.
Moges, however, noted that since almost all residents in the area were informal settlers, the number of people missing had not been yet confirmed.
The condition at the 50-year old landfill is said to be a bigger challenge for emergency personnel who are working “day and night” to save the lives of those residents who are missing.
The massive landslide that occurred at 8p.m. on Saturday buried and damaged several buildings in the area, while many of the residents were inside their houses during the landslide.
The 36 hectare municipal landfill, called “Koshe”, is home to a number of Addis Ababa dwellers who were apparently victim of a number of landslides over the years including the latest one on Saturday.(TNE)