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Congo flooding and landslides leave more than 200 dead as village turned into ‘wasteland’ | World News


More than 200 people have been killed in flash floods and landslides in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Authorities have said many more people are missing in the province of South Kivo.

Thomas Bakenge, administrator of Kalehe, the worst-hit territory, told reporters 203 bodies had been recovered so far.

Hundreds of homes have been washed away in the village of Nyamukubi, where rescue workers and survivors dug through ruins looking for more bodies in the mud.

Grieving survivor Anuarite Zikujuwa said she had lost her entire family, including her in-laws, as well as many of her neighbours.

“The whole village has been turned into a wasteland. There’s only stones left, and we can’t even tell where our land once was,” she said.

Image:
Homes swept away in the village of Nyamukubi

‘We have nothing’

Michake Ntamana, a rescue worker helping look for and bury the dead, said villagers were trying to identify and collect the bodies of loved ones found so far.

He said some bodies washed down from villages higher in the hills were being buried merely using leaves.

“It’s truly sad because we have nothing else here,” he said.

It comes after rivers broke their banks in villages in Kalehe, close to the shores of Lake Kivu, on Thursday.

One survivor told Associated Press the flash floods came so fast that they took everyone by surprise.

South Kivu governor Theo Ngwabidje visited the area to see the destruction for himself.

He posted on Twitter that the provincial government had dispatched medical, shelter, and food supplies.

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Houses have been destroyed by floods in the village of Nyamukubi. Pic: AP
Image:
Houses have been destroyed by floods in the village of Nyamukubi. Pic: AP

Several main roads to the affected area have been made impassable by the rains, hampering the relief efforts.

President Felix Tshisekedi has declared a national day of mourning on Monday to honour the victims, and the central government is sending a crisis management team to South Kivu to support the provincial government.

Heavy rain across eastern Africa in recent days has also impacted parts of Uganda and Kenya.

Flooding and landslides in Rwanda, which borders Congo, left 129 people dead earlier this week.

Local government official Mr Bakenge said: “This is the fourth time that such damage has been caused by the same rivers. Not 10 years pass without them causing enormous damage.”



This story originally appeared on Skynews

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