At least eighteen (18) people reportedly lost their lives and over a hundred were forced to leave their homes in Abidjan, due to severe flooding caused by torrential rain overnight, on Tuesday.

“Torrential rains triggered severe flooding across Abidjan yesterday night and killed 15 people, washed away houses and displaced hundreds of families,” Sidiki Diakite, the country’s Interior Minister told journalists on Tuesday.

He explained that the heavy downpour struck the city between the hours of 11pm on Monday night to 6am Tuesday, causing flash floods up to 2.5 metres deep.

About 115 people have been rescued and put in Shelters and searches were underway for other casualties, he added.

“I broke the ceiling and called my neighbour for help. He came to bring the children out of the roof,” said Kadidiatou Diallo, one of the survivors.

The city of five million is the economic capital of francophone West Africa’s largest economy and the world’s largest cocoa producer, Ivory Coast. It reportedly suffers from infrastructural problems and many homes are built in flood-prone areas.

Last year, several days of heavy rain and subsequent flooding left seven people dead in Abidjan. The country is currently in the middle of its rainy season and sadly, meteorologists have forecasted heavy rains till the end of June.