At least 176 people lost their lives after heavy rains caused flash floods and landslides in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) South Kivu province, governor Théo Ngwabidje Kasi said on Friday.
At least 176 people lost their lives after heavy rains caused flash floods and landslides in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) South Kivu province, governor Théo Ngwabidje Kasi said on Friday.1
Torrential rains in South Kivu, which began on Thursday evening, caused two rivers to overflow, destroying scores of homes, schools, and hospitals in the village of Nyamukubi. The Red Cross is still looking for the victims trapped beneath thick layers of mud and under the buildings' debris.2
Regional government official Thomas Bakenge, calling the scale of destruction "enormous," said bodies were still being collected from the shores of the nearby Lake Kivu.3
While Kasi put the death toll at 176 and said that about 100 people were still missing, locals claim at least 227 bodies have been recovered so far.1
The government announced a day of national mourning will be observed on Monday with flags lowered to half-mast "in memory of the lost compatriots."4
Heavy rains also triggered flooding and landslides in Rwanda, which shares a border with South Kivu, killing at least 130 people and destroying more than 5K homes earlier this week.5
Narrative A, as provided by Amnesty International. Heavy downpours, flooding, and landslides during rainy seasons are common in central Africa. However, extreme weather events in the second-most populous continent are happening with increased frequency and intensity due to climate change and deforestation. Unfortunately, the DRC has failed to learn from previous disasters by implementing proper infrastructure, which means these catastrophes continue to have disastrous consequences.
Narrative B, as provided by World Bank. The DRC is riddled not only with corruption and conflict — the price of which has been human suffering on an unimaginable scale — but is also dealing with economic calamity. While disaster preparedness seems like an obvious solution to mitigating the effects of these climate events, the reality is that the country lacks the means to implement such measures. Only a robust, strong government could make one of the five poorest countries in the world well-prepared and well-resourced to deal with natural disasters.