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Floods kill at least 176 people in Eastern DR Congo

Bushushu and Nyamukubi villages sustain substantial damage as a result of the torrential rains that lead to floods in South Kivu province. According to a local authority, flash floods in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo have killed at least 176 people. Torrential rain in South Kivu forced a river to overflow in the province on Thursday, causing considerable damage and fatalities in the communities of Bushushu and Nyamukubi, per a statement from the provincial office of South Kivu.

The Governor of South Kivu, Théo Ngwabidje Kasi, reported 176 fatalities and added that many individuals were still missing. Kasole Martin, a member of the local civic society, reported that 227 bodies had been recovered. "People are sleeping in open spaces. Hospitals and schools have been ruined,” said Martin.

Photos from Friday indicated that the weather had cleared, exposing flattened homes and roofs with corrugated iron poking out from behind heavy layers of muck.

Robert Masamba, a doctor at the major hospital in the Kalehe area, reported that injured survivors had been coming in since Thursday night.

“Neither I nor my team slept. 80% of the 56 people we've seen have fractures,” he said.

A group of haggard-appearing survivors stood outside a wooden shed where bodies were being heaped high by Red Cross employees wearing blue scrubs.

In South Kivu, which borders Rwanda, landslides and floods are common occurrences. This week's torrential rainfall also induced flooding and landslides in Rwanda, killing 130 people and destroying more than 5,000 homes.

The last similar-scale disaster took place in October 2014, when torrential rain damaged more than 700 residences. The United Nations reported that over 130 individuals were missing at that time. Other regions of the country have also experienced catastrophes as a result of flooding and heavy rain.

In North Kivu province, a landslip occurred last month, killing at least 21 people and leaving a number of others missing. Rains in Kinshasa, the country's capital, in December are believed to have killed at least 169 people.

Persisting Humanitarian Crisis in Congo

The floods exacerbate an ongoing humanitarian disaster in the eastern DRC resulting from decades of conflicts between numerous factions.

According to a recent UN census, there have been at least 122 rebel factions fighting in the area for more than 25 years. Consequently, the Norwegian Refugee Council stated in a study in June that millions of people have been displaced. More than 5.5 million internally displaced persons reside in the DRC, which is the third-highest figure worldwide. Another million Congolese have also left the nation.

According to multiple statistics, 27 million people—or one-third of the population of the country—are facing food insecurity, which is the highest level ever recorded.

Edited by- Adedamola Aresbegola


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Tags: United Nations Floods landslide Rwanda humanitarian crisis Congo Red Cross Eastern Congo


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