News24

3 dead in Burkina Faso floods

2009-09-02 09:54

Ouagadougou - At least three people died and thousands were homeless on Tuesday in Ouagadougou and its suburbs as the capital of Burkina Faso was hit by floods, officials said.

"There are at least three people carried away by the floodwater in the city of Ouagadougou," Prime Minister Tertius Zongo told journalists after having witnessed that "many houses" had been destroyed.

As torrential rain fell on the capital of the west African country, the prime minister said an unknown number of people were missing.

"Many people got into their vehicle, refused to get out and were surprised by the waters... how many managed to get out, how many didn't, we don't know," Zongo said.

Several thousand residents of Ouagadougou had lost their homes, according to the minister of territorial administration, Clement Sawadogo.

Some 30 centimetres (one foot) of rain fell in the space of 10 hours, authorities said. Such a downfall had not been seen since 1919, a meteorologist said on state television.

The Yalgado Ouedraogo hospital centre was under water late on Tuesday, with dozens of patients having been evacuated.

The army joined firemen and police in aiding victims of the flood in the city of 1.5 million.