Floods Kill Over 60 People in Lobito, Angola

Local media are reporting that at least 60 people have been killed in floods in Lobito, Angola. This is the second major flood event in a week. One person died and 1000s of homes damaged by floods that struck the capital, Luanda, on 09 March 2015.

Floods in Lobito, Benguela

Torrential rainfall brought flood waters raging through areas of Lobito city on Thursday 12 March 2015. Angop, the state news agency, said that the neighbourhoods of Alto Acongo, Vicongo, Bela Vista and Bairro Novo are the worst affected. Agop say eye witnesses reported flood water as high as 3 metres in parts of Bairro Novo.

Buildings and houses have been washed away or severely damaged in the floods, leaving many people homeless. However, no figures for the number of displaced or affected are available as yet.

Yesterday, a team comprising the provincial command of the fire brigade, municipal administration of Lobito and National Police, announced that 48 people had been killed in the floods. That number has since risen to 62, with as many as 35 of the victims thought to be children. The search for victims continues as many more people are believed to be still missing.

President Jose Eduardo Santos has requested local authorities to provide assistance. According to Agop, the president “has recommended the creation of conditions for material and moral assistance to the families whose relatives have gone missing.”

Lobito is a city of around 800,000, and is situated on the coats of the Atlantic Ocean in Benguela Province. Between December to April is typically the rainiest time for the region. The city sits between the coats and steep hillsides and mountains which lie directly to the west.

Lobito sits about 10km north of the Catumbela Estuary, where the Catumbela, as 240 km long river, meets the Atlantic.