Rescue operation underway in Tanzania after dozens killed by severe flooding

People stand near floodwater in the town of Katesh, Tanzania.
People stand near floodwater in the town of Katesh, Tanzania. Credit: AP

A rescue operation is underway in northern Tanzania after flooding and landslides left dozens of people dead, according to authorities in the country.

Tanzania's government said it had deployed its armed forces to help rescue hundreds of people left stranded in the east African nation.

At least 47 people have been killed and 85 others injured after what has been described as the country's worst flooding for years.

Flooding in Tanzania's north originated near Mount Hanang, destroying roads and bridges.

People look at a submerged bus in the town of Katesh, Tanzania. Credit: AP

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who is attending the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, said she was cutting short her trip due to the tragedy.

"I send my sincere condolences to the affected families and have directed all our security forces to deploy to the area and help those affected," she said in a video message.

Other east African countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, have been hit by widespread flooding in recent months.

The flooding there has been described as a once in a century type of flood event, which has been made worse by the El Nino weather phenomenon.

Hundreds have died across the region and millions forced from their homes since the heavy rains began in late October.

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