At least 120 people have lost their lives after torrential rain caused widespread damages, landslides and flooding in the city of Kinshasa, the capital and largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Heavy rain fell overnight, from 12 to 13 December 2022, causing floods, landslides and sinkholes. Several municipalities in the city were affected. Dozens of houses and buildings collapsed and vehicles were left stranded. Wide stretches of road were completely destroyed, including in Mitendi, a commune to the southwest of the city, where a sinkhole wiped out the busy N1 highway which connects Kinshasa to Matadi. The road is likely to be closed for 4 to 5 days, the Prime Minister said in a statement.
Local media said never has the rain been so deadly and devastating in the city and reported damage and fatalities in several communes (municipalities) in particular Ngaliema and Mont-Ngafula. The Ministry of Health officials reported a total of more than 140 fatalities, while the Prime Minister in a statement said at least 120 people had died. Search and rescue operations are ongoing and are likely to find more victims.
Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde visited some of the affected areas on 13 December. On the instructions of the President of the Republic, the Government decreed a 3-day period of national mourning.
In a statement of 13 December, the Governor of Kinshasa, Ngobila Mbaka, offered his condolences to the families of the victims and expressed sympathy with the people who have suffered. He also stressed the need to respect planning rules banning illegal construction in drainage areas and river beds and emphasised the need to keep rivers and drainage channels free of trash and debris.
- Around 20 people died in floods in the city in late November 2015
- At least 37 people died after floods in Kinshasa in January 2018
- Flooding struck in the city in October 2019 where 6 people died, and again in November 2019, when around 41 people died.
— Ngobila Mbaka (@NgobilaM) December 13, 2022
La pluie diluvienne de ce matin à Kinshasa, ville des constructions anarchiques, a fait déborder nos rivières non-curées et nos canniveaux bouchés, emportant malheureusement les vies d’une centaine de nos compatriotes. Sincères condoléances à toutes les familles des victimes. pic.twitter.com/Y0kDyZjsWy
— Martin Fayulu (@MartinFayulu) December 13, 2022
#RDC : Plusieurs dizaines de compatriotes ont perdu la vie, des dégâts matériels importants. Avec le gouverneur de la ville, les ministres et d’autres responsables, le PM @LukondeSama est sur terrain pour faire l’évaluation générale, un bilan global suivra au terme de sa tournée. pic.twitter.com/8ddHof4agP
— Patrick Muyaya (@PatrickMuyaya) December 13, 2022
— Steve Wembi (@wembi_steve) December 13, 2022
#RDC: Kinshasa sous une forte pluie presque toute la nuit, la route nationale numéro 1 coupée juste après le Q/Maman Mobutu C/Mont-Ngafula. Et le constat est le même, les inondations sont signalées un peu partout dans la capitale pic.twitter.com/rKyVrtTfcF
— Sey Gauthier (@SeyGauthier11) December 13, 2022
KINSHASA SOUS LES EAUX.
Des nombreuses vies perdues à Matadi kibala après la pluie abondante qu’il y’a eu cette nuit. La route nationale numéro 1 coupée avant le quartier sans fil. Des maisons emportées. Que dis le gouvernement de la ville au sujet des inondations ? @NgobilaM pic.twitter.com/QONpkUdeiB
— Aurélie (@Aurelie_Misenga) December 13, 2022