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At least 176 people dead after flash floods in Congo

At least 176 people died in flash floods in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, after heavy rain caused rivers to overflow destroying many public buildings and houses. Red Cross workers in blue scrubs had to place mud-clad bodies on top of each other due to the large number of deceased.

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The rainfall in the Kalehe territory in South Kivu province caused rivers to overflow on Thursday, inundating the villages of Bushushu and Nyamukubi.

People are sleeping out in the open, schools and hospitals have been swept away,” a local civil society member said.

Dozens of survivors are being treated at a local hospital, after sustaining injuries during the flood. Dr Norbert Walangulu in Kalehe territory’s main hospital, said they did not have enough medicine and equipment to properly treat the injured.

“This is an opportunity for us to send a message to everyone, to know that during disasters we must be rescued and helped with consumables,” the medical practitioner stressed.

Floods kill over 170 people in eastern DR Congo

— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) May 6, 2023

Floods in Congo

Floods and landslides are not uncommon in South Kivu. The last incident of a similar scale in Congo occurred in October 2014, when heavy rainfall destroyed over 700 homes. More than 130 people were reported missing at the time, according to the United Nations.

South Kivu shares a border with Rwanda and was also hit by heavy rains which triggered flooding and landslides this week, killing 130 people and destroying more than 5,000 homes.

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