Overnight rains caused flooding and landslides in eastern Congo’s South Kivu province that killed at least 176 villagers, according to Thomas Bakenge, a regional government official. He described the scale of destruction as “enormous, beyond words … whole houses were carried away.”
Two rivers broke their banks and multiple landslides occurred, destroying scores of homes, school buildings, and a health centre. As bodies were pulled from the mud, some residents estimated that more than three-quarters of homes in the village of Nyamukubi were carried away by the floods.
Rescuers worked to find and save anyone who may be trapped under the debris from their destroyed homes. The provincial government of South Kivu expressed its sympathies and said it was sending a group of officials to the area.
The UN’s humanitarian chief for Congo, David McLachlan-Karr, said that they were aware of the disaster and they were working with local authorities and partners to assess the needs and help survivors.
The heavy rains in East Africa have caused flooding and landslides in Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda, leaving many people dead and thousands more affected.