Flash floods caused by heavy rainfall have devastated eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, resulting in at least 176 deaths, according to South Kivu Governor Théo Ngwabidje Kasi. The flooding occurred in the Kalehe territory of South Kivu province, leading to rivers overflowing and villages being inundated with water. The villages of Bushushu and Nyamukubi were particularly badly affected, with many buildings destroyed. The death toll is expected to rise, with some people still missing. Local civil society member Kasole Martin said that 227 bodies had already been found.
Survivors have been left homeless and forced to sleep outside as schools and hospitals have been swept away. Red Cross workers have been gathering bodies into piles, with a Reuters reporter counting 72 corpses. Many of the survivors are injured and have been seeking medical attention at hospitals. In the main hospital in Kalehe territory, doctors have treated 56 patients since Thursday evening, with 80% of them suffering from fractures.
South Kivu, which shares a border with Rwanda, is no stranger to floods and landslides. This week, heavy rains in Rwanda led to flooding and landslides that killed 130 people and destroyed more than 5,000 homes. The last comparable incident in Congo was in October 2014, when heavy rainfall destroyed more than 700 homes and over 130 people were reported missing.
Leave a Reply