Landslide kills 35 in Ethiopian capital

Police officers secure the perimeter at the scene of a garbage landslide as excavators aid rescue efforts on the outskirts of the capital Addis Ababa Ethiopia Sunday

The death toll following the collapse of a mountain of rubbish at a garbage dump on the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital has reached 62, officials said, as relatives waited for news of the dozens said to be missing.

The Koshe site has been one of the main garbage dumps for Addis Ababa for more than 40 years.

The collapse at the Koshe Garbage Landfill buried several makeshift homes and concrete buildings.

Smaller landslides have occurred at the Koshe landfill in the past two years, but no more than three people were killed, Assefa said.

Many people at the landfill were "frantically looking for friends and family", Hope for Korah, a Canadian NGO that assists people living in the area near the dump, said on its Facebook page.

The mayor of Addis Ababa said the city would now work to relocate those who live in the landfill.

Two people have so far been pulled out alive.

This is not the first landslide at the dump site, which stretches for more than 30 hectares and supports a hierarchy of scratchers who look for food, materials or resellable items in its muck.

The landfill takes nearly 300,000 tonnes of waste a year from the city's 4.5 million residents, according to government statistics, and in recent years, the city's council has been warning that it is running out of room to expand, with permanent housing and schools being approached by the site's spreading boundaries.

Since 2010, city officials have warned that the landfill was running out of room and was being closed in by nearby housing and schools.

The area has been a dumping ground for the city's rubbish for over 50 years. It is expected to generate about 25 megawatt hours of power once completed.

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