Death toll from Congo floods reaches 40

Death toll from Congo floods reaches 40

The death toll from floods in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has risen to almost 400 from 200 casualties as of Sunday.

Officials of the worst-affected area, the Kalehe territory of South Kivu province, confirmed that more bodies were recovered on Sunday, including many found floating in Lake Kivu.

The destructive rains across Kalehe territory began on Thursday evening. Rivers broke their banks, with flash floods sweeping away the majority of buildings in the villages of Bushushu and Nyamukubi, causing the huge loss of life.

Floods and landslides are not uncommon in South Kivu, which shares a border with Rwanda. Heavy rains also caused flooding and landslides in Rwanda this week, killing 130 people and destroying more than 5,000 homes.

The current rainy season, typical for the South Kivu region, is expected to last until the end of May.

The Congolese government declared Monday as a national day of mourning, with flags to fly at half-staff in memory of the victims.

Félix Tshisekedi also sent a delegation of officials ahead of his visit later on Monday.

On Saturday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres offered his condolences to the victims of the “catastrophic floods” in Congo and Rwanda.

According to experts, extreme weather events are happening with increased frequency and intensity due to climate change.

Past Disaster in Congo

On 29-30 December, South Kivu Province in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), recorded a number of landslides caused by heavy rainfall.

According to reports, the disaster resulted in casualties, leaving at least 10 people dead and nine others injured and a number of individuals were declared missing.

South Kivu province located in the far eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to be affected by floods and landslides caused by heavy rainfall, which have resulted in an increased humanitarian impact.

Media reports unveiled five additional fatalities on 4-5 January in Bukavu city, where several people had to be rescued and at least eight individuals were injured. Several parts of the city were damaged, including some road sections and a number of houses, leaving some residents displaced.

On 9-11 January, moderate to locally heavy rainfall is forecast over southern, central-eastern and eastern DRC, including South Kivu Province.

Heavy rainfall and thunderstorms affected the southern Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular the Kasaï Central Province, over the period from 15 to 17 April, causing some severe weather-related incidents (particularly due to lightning) that have resulted in casualties and damage. Media report, as of 19 April, eight fatalities and one heavily damaged house in the Tshimbulu Town (eastern Kasaï Central Province) due to lightning which occurred on 15-16 April. Over the next 24 hours, very heavy rainfall is still forecast over most of the Country, including the already affected Kasaï Central Province.


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