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Ethiopia: Landslide in Garbage Dump Kills 35, Dozens Missing

Written by Maritime First
  • Still on the rise
  • As Bus crashes into parade in Haiti, kills at least 34 and injures 17

A landslide swept through a massive garbage dump on the outskirts of Ethiopia’s capital, killing at least 35 people and leaving several dozen missing, residents said, as officials vowed to relocate those who called the landfill home.

Addis Ababa city spokeswoman Dagmawit Moges said most of the dead were women and children, and more bodies were expected to be found in the coming hours.

It was not immediately clear what caused Saturday night’s landslide at the Koshe Garbage Landfill, which buried several makeshift homes and concrete buildings. The landfill has been a dumping ground for the capital’s garbage for more than 50 years.

About 150 people were there when the landslide occurred, resident Assefa Teklemahimanot told The Associated Press. Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma said 37 people had been rescued and were receiving medical treatment. Dagmawit said two had serious injuries.

Many people at the landfill had been scavenging items to make a living, but others live there because renting homes, largely built of mud and sticks, is relatively inexpensive.

An AP reporter saw four bodies taken away by ambulances after being pulled from the debris. Elderly women cried, and others stood anxiously waiting for news of loved ones. Six excavators dug through the ruins.

“My house was right inside there,” said a shaken Tebeju Asres, pointing to where one of the excavators was digging in deep, black mud. “My mother and three of my sisters were there when the landslide happened. Now I don’t know the fate of all of them.”

The resumption of garbage dumping at the site in recent months likely caused the landslide, Assefa said. The dumping had stopped in recent years, but it resumed after farmers in a nearby restive region where a new garbage landfill complex was being built blocked dumping in their area.

Smaller landslides have occurred at the Koshe landfill in the past two years but only two or three people were killed, Assefa said.

In the meantime, the death toll from a double bomb attack targeting Shiites visiting a pilgrimage site in Damascus has climbed to 74, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Sunday.

Most of the dead in Saturday’s attack were Iraqi Shiites going to visit a cemetery near the Old City of Damascus.

There has been no claim of responsibility.

The Hezbollah-run al-Manar TV station said it was carried out by two suicide bombers.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been supported in the country’s war by Shiite militias from countries including Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon.

In addition, at least 34 people were killed and 17 injured in northern Haiti late on Saturday after a bus crashed into a parade of pedestrians, the country’s civil protection authorities said on Sunday.

The bus, which was coming from Cap Haitien to the capital, Port-au-Prince, crashed into a “rara” parade in the town of Gonaives in the northern part of the country, authorities said.

Rara parades are groupings of musicians playing traditional instruments who are often joined by passers-by.

It was not immediately clear what caused the accident. The driver and passengers on the bus were being held at the police station, said Patrick Cherilus, a civil protection spokesman for the department of Artibonite.

After the accident, other musicians and people in the parade began hurling rocks at the bus and passing vehicles, injuring other people, said Albert Moulion, the ministry of the interior’s spokesman.

Haitian roads are dangerous and chaotic, with few rules observed by pedestrians, motorcyclists and drivers.

NBC with additional report from NAN and Guardian

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