Floods in Democratic Republic of Congo Leave at Least 30 Dead

At least 30 people have been killed by recent flooding and landslides in the Democratic Republic of Congo with many more thought to be still missing.

The disaster struck in Kalehe Territory in South Kivu province after 3 days of heavy rain. The village of Bushushu is said to be the worst hit. Local media say that other villages in the area, including Rambira, Nyambasha and Nyamukubi have also been badly affected.

With so many still missing, there are fears that the floods and landslides may have killed over 100 people. Bodies are buried under landslide rubble or have been swept away on flood torrents, possibly as far as Lake Kivu, where local fishermen are assisting with the search. Hundreds of homes and other buildings, as well as bridges and roads in and around the village have been damaged or destroyed by flood or landslides.

Search and rescue operations are being carried out but are hampered by difficult conditions. Representatives from the UN and Red Cross are working in the area.

According to MISNA:

South Kivu’s civil protection have recovered seven bodies and reported 100 injured and 112 still missing. A higher toll was reported by Jean Chrisostome Kijana, president of South Kivu’s civil society, indicating that the flooding has left at least 50 dead and dozens missing.

To make matters worse, violent militia have been threatening local communities in the area. Local media report that 100s of people have fled their homes in the last few days in Shabunda territory of South Kivu because of clashes between Raïa Mutomboki militia factions.

At least 4 people died in flooding in North Kivu and elsewhere earlier this month. There was also some flooding in South Kivu during May 2014 when the River Mutambala overflowed.

File photo: River in South Kivu. Photo: EU/ECHO/Damien Blanc
File photo: River in South Kivu. Photo: EU/ECHO/Damien Blanc