LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - At least 64 people have died in flooding following heavy rain in western Angola, the state-run news agency reported on Friday.
Most deaths have been in the coastal city of Lobito in Benguela Province, with 35 children among the victims, Angop said.
"People were sleeping which was part of the problem, it surprised people," Nuno Macedo, who works for Christian Aid in Angola, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Everyone is shocked."
Macedo said the heavy rain on Wednesday night destroyed many buildings, which was a major cause of deaths. Angop reported that 119 houses collapsed.
"There are searches underway to try and find those who are still missing, so it is anticipated the number of fatalities will rise," Tomilola Ajayi, a Christian Aid spokeswoman in London, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos has promised assistance to the affected people in Benguela, Angop reported.
Springtime floods also hit Angola hard in 2009 and 2013.
In January, flooding affected nearly one million people in Mozambique, Malawi, Madagascar and Zimbabwe. More than 150 people died in Mozambique, and more than 250 in neighbouring Malawi. About a quarter of a million people were forced to leave their homes.
(Reporting By Joseph D'Urso; Editing by Ros Russell)