40 People Die In Floods And Landslides In DR Congo1 min read
At least 40 more people have died in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, local authorities said, after heavy downpours overnight on Tuesday unleashed floods and landslides that left residents digging through the mud to find bodies.
In the city of Bukavu, onlookers gathered to watch on Wednesday as a group of men hauled a car out of the mud to recover a woman’s body from underneath, a Reuters witness said.
At least 20 people died in Bukavu and at least 20 more were killed in the village of Burinyi, 50 kms (31 miles) from Bukavu, according to officials in the two places.
Bukavu resident Yvonne Mukupi, who was able to stay clear of the deluge, said her neighbour was swept away by the flood waters.
“We have managed to recover three bodies under the trees but others have not been found yet,” she said.
Poor urban planning and weak infrastructure make communities like Mukupi’s more vulnerable to extreme rainfall, which is becoming more intense and frequent in Africa due to warming temperatures, according to United Nations climate experts.
“When rain falls, the main waterway gets clogged sometimes because of the waste, so it gets flooded and it affects the houses,” Bukavu official Emmanuel Majivuno Kalimba told Reuters at the scene, as residents worked to salvage belongings from their damaged homes.
The overnight devastation follows the deaths of at least 22 people in Kasai-Central province on Tuesday when a landslide swallowed houses, churches and roads, killing entire families and leaving people homeless.