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Deadly floods and landslides hit Rwanda


Heavy rains that hit most parts of Rwanda on Sunday, February 2, 2020, killed at least 13 people, including seven people from the same family in capital Kigali, the Ministry of Emergency Management said in its provisional damage assessment report.

"We can confirm that the provisional number of those deaths has reached 13. Some people who we thought were missing have been found dead and the search continues," Claude Tuyishime said, spokesman of the disaster management.

In the Jali sector, Rubona village, a landslide pounded a house that killed a family of seven people. The family members included a mother, her younger sister who was pregnant, her three children, her grandchild, and her niece.

According to the neighbors, they did not know the exact time of the incident because the rain poured until late at night. Furthermore, they woke up only to find the house in ruins and all of the family members already dead.

Ernestine Mukasekuru, the executive secretary if Nyaruriba cell said intense rain lasted for hours, making the land in the hilly Jali sector vulnerable to mudslides.

Residents in the neighborhood were advised to vacate the area and seek safer shelter while local authorities find solutions.

"Those who have relatives around can find shelter form them, and the rest, we shall find a way to cater them pending a sustainable solution," Mukasekuru said.

Meanwhile, six of the other victims were from the districts of Kicukiro and Gatsibo.

The downpour swept away 15 houses and left roads inaccessible. 12 of these were from Nyarugenge district.

The Rwanda Meteorology Agency warned that torrential rains will continue for several more days in the districts of Rwamagana, Kayonza, Gatsibo, Nyagatare, Rulindo, Gicumbi, Gakenke, Muhanga, Ngororero, Gisagara, and Rutsiro. January to March usually consists of a short dry season in the country.

In December 2019, extreme weather killed 12 people and destroyed 100 homes in Kigali.

Featured image credit: @Jeanlucma3/Twitter


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