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A landslide has killed at least 11 persons who were attending a funeral on Sunday in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, a local official told media men.

The victims had gathered at the top of a hill for a memorial service for five people. Then, the ground collapsed under part of the audience.

“Some were sitting in a tent where there was a landslide early this evening,” Paul Bea told state radio. Paul is the governor of the Centre region that includes Yaounde. He also added that rescue efforts were ongoing.

The search had been suspended late Sunday evening before a planned resumption on Monday morning

Marie Claire Mendouga, 50, attended the ceremony but her tent was not affected by the landslide.

“We had just started to dance when the ground collapsed,” she said.

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She said she “went to dig with my hands” to try to get people out from under the earth; and was still covered in the brown clay from the site.

The disaster took place in Yaounde’s working-class district of Damas, on its eastern outskirts.

Landslides occur relatively frequently in Cameroon, but they are rarely as deadly as Sunday’s incident in Yaounde.

Forty-three people were killed in the western city of Bafoussam in 2019, when a landslide triggered by heavy rains swept away a dozen precarious dwellings built on the side of a hill.

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