Record-breaking rainfall hit parts of Tanzania, the most flood-affected country in eastern Africa, over the past couple of days, causing widespread flooding, mudslides and major travel disruptions. More than 170 mm (6.7 inches) of rain was measured in Dar es Salaam within 24 hours on Thursday, more than two times the country’s average October rainfall.

According to Hellen Msemo, senior meteorologist at the Tanzania Meteorology Authority, the worst affected was Tanzania’s northern coast. “Much of the infrastructure has been damaged, and the main highway to the nation’s largest city, Dar es Salaam, has been cut off from the north of the country,” Msemo said.

Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam registered 174 mm (6.85 inches) of rain on Thursday, October 24, 2017. This was the heaviest October rainfall since records began in 1918, Al Jazeera reported. The average October rainfall is 69 mm (2.71 inches).

Many places in the region broke their 24-hour rainfall records, their report added. Kibaha, for example, had its wettest day in 53 years with 178 mm (7 inches) of rain.

Swollen rivers left dozens of homes and businesses underwater. There have been many accidents and many roads will remain closed for some time.

In May 2017, heavy and steady torrential downpours left much of the country underwater, leaving at least nine people dead.

Featured image: A landslide at Vuga Lushoto, Tanzania – May 2017. Credit: Hellen Msemo / TMA

The Watchers » Floods