A month's worth of rain in one night, deadly floods hit Burundi

A month's worth of rain in one night, deadly floods hit Burundi

Heavy rain has caused widespread damage in Burundi overnight Thursday, March 16, 2017, claiming lives of at least six people. Local media is reporting a month's worth of rain in just a couple of hours.

"Torrential rains and strong winds struck several provinces last night," the country's vice president, Gaston Sindimwo, said Friday. "In the northwestern town of Mabayi, a landslide smothered several houses, and rescuers found five victims."

In the capital Bujumbura, rains quickly flooded roads killing a soldier. Sindimwo described the event as a real disaster and added that several other people were injured. "We have so far counted 162 destroyed homes," he said. 

Dozens of people died across Burundi since September, Sindimwo concluded.

Video courtesy Africa News

The country has two wet seasons, the short one runs from September to November and is followed by short dry season from December to January. Long wet season runs from February to May. Rain is irregular and is falling most heavily in the northwest.

Bujumbura is on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and as such has a different climate than the rest of the country, Aljazeera explains.

"Bujumbura can expect approximately 100 mm (3.93 inches) of rain in every month between November and April. Then a rapid change to a dry summer lasts until October. This is not a lot of rain for a country within the tropics and any significant thunderstorm could drop more than a month’s worth of rain in a few hours. This is what happened on Thursday night."

Featured image: Heavy rain in Burundi leaves at least six people dead - Thursday, March 16, 2017. Credit: Africa News


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