Three days of heavy rain have caused severe flooding in residential neighborhood of the capital Abidjan, resulting in seven deaths and damage to property, especially in the Angré area, located in the upscale Cocody district. According to a local fireman, seven people were found dead between Wednesday, May 24, and Friday, May 26; a number of other people have been evacuated from their homes. Inadequate construction standards leave building occupants at risk. Further rain and subsequent flooding is likely in the coming days as well as associated traffic disruptions, especially in Cocody.
Torrential rain is common in the south of the country, including Abidjan, particularly during the rainy season (May to November) and can disrupt travel to, from, and within the country. In July 2015, some 15 people died in the city due to flooding, mostly in densely populated districts (Attécoubé and Adjamé). Summer rains often result in flooding (e.g. along the banks of the Bandama River) as well as mudslides and road closures, particularly in the south. During periods of heavy rain, is it advisable to avoid poorer neighborhoods where inadequate construction standards leave building occupants at risk.
Individuals present in Abidjan are advised to follow all instructions as issued by local authorities and allow additional time to travel. Be prepared to leave immediately if an evacuation order is given. Monitor the situation via local media and weather reporting outlets. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous; 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock an adult over.
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