Flooding kills at least 18 in Ivory Coast's Abidjan

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ABIDJAN (Reuters) - At least 18 people were killed by flooding in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital Abidjan on Tuesday after intense rainfall overnight, authorities said.

A rushing flood of brown water struck the tropical, lagoon-side city of about 5 million people in the early hours, carrying away cars, destroying homes and leaving hundreds stranded.

The government said 18 people had died, in a provisional toll posted on its website. Another 115 people had been rescued and taken to shelters.

“I broke the ceiling and called my neighbor for help. He came to bring the children out of the roof,” said Kadidiatou Diallo, standing in the ruined bedroom of her home in the Palmeraie district.

Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer and Francophone West Africa’s largest economy, is in the middle of its rainy season and meteorologists have forecast heavy rains until late June.

Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Edward McAllister and John Stonestreet