More than 176 people killed in raging eastern DR Congo floods

Monday, May 8th, 2023 01:13 | By
Congo Floods

At least 176 people have been killed in flash floods in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, a regional official says

Torrential rains in South Kivu province caused a river to overflow on Thursday and led to significant damage and loss of life in the villages of Bushushu and Nyamukubi, the provincial government said in a statement. South Kivu Governor Théo Ngwabidje Kasi put the death toll at 176 and said that other people were still missing. A local civil society member, Kasole Martin, said 227 bodies had been found.

“People are sleeping out in the open. Schools and hospitals have been swept away,” Martin said.

The weather had cleared on Friday, revealing flattened houses and corrugated iron roofs jutting out from beneath thick layers of mud, photos showed. Haggard-looking survivors stood outside a wooden shed in which Red Cross workers in blue scrubs piled bodies on top of each other. Many had lost clothing and were covered in dirt.

Floods and landslides are not an uncommon occurrence in South Kivu. The last incident of a similar scale occurred in October 2014 when heavy rain destroyed more than 700 homes. Over 130 people were reported missing at the time, according to the United Nations.

Heavy rainfall and floods have led to tragedies in other parts of the country as well. Last month, at least 21 people died and several were reported missing a day after a landslide in North Kivu province. In December, at least 169 people were killed due to rains in the capital, Kinshasa.  

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