17 dead, dozens missing due to flood in Morocco

Updated: 2014-11-24 16:07


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RABAT - Seventeen people were killed and dozens missing on Sunday in southern Morocco in flash flood caused by heavy rain, authorities said.

At least 13 people were killed and 15 missing in the city of Gelmim alone, the Moroccan ministry of interior said in a press release.

More than 200 people, including two French nationals, were evacuated by air force helicopters, said the release, adding that search and rescue efforts were hampered by heavy rain.

An official news agency reported earlier that a bus crashed into a river near the city of Bouizakarne in southern Morocco, leaving three people dead and 12 missing.

According to local media, at least 40 people remain missing, and many houses have collapsed due to heavy rain that started Friday across the regions of Guelmim, Agadir, Tiznite, Ouarzazate and Marrakesh.

Such heavy rainfall is very rare in the semi-desert region.