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Severe floods and landslides hit Kinshasa, leaving more than 160 people dead, DR Congo

Severe floods and landslides hit the capital Kinshasa, leaving more than 140 people killed, DR Congo

At least 141 people died in floods and landslides caused by heavy rains that hit several outlying districts of the capital Kinshasa (population 15 million), Democratic Republic of the Congo, on December 13, 2022.

  • The floods are described as some of the worst to ever hit the city
  • Search and rescue operations are still in progress and the number of fatalities could still rise

According to the latest reports, 38 787 households had been flooded and about 280 houses had collapsed, while the N1 highway connecting Kinshasa to the main seaport of Matadi had been severely damaged.

The prime minister’s office said in a statement that the road could be closed for 3 – 4 days.

YouTube video
YouTube video

Health minister Jean-Jacques Mbungani Mbanda told the Reuters news agency that the ministry had counted 141 dead but that the number needed to be cross-checked with other departments.1

City police chief General Sylvano Kasongo said that the bulk of people dead were on hillside locations where there had been landslides.2

Congo’s government spokesman Patrick Muyaya posted images showing a major road that appeared to have subsided into a deep chasm, with crowds staring at the damage.

“On National Road 1 there is a big hole. Only pedestrians can pass. We do not understand how the water cut the road,” said local resident Gabriel Mbikolo.3

Search and rescue operations are still in progress and the number of fatalities could still rise.

Update:

On December 20, the number of fatalities rose to at least 169 and the number of injured to 30.

Approximately 38 000 people were affected across the Kinshasa metropolitan area.

References:

1 At least 120 killed as floods sweep DR Congo capital – Al Jazeera – December 13, 2022

2 Flooding kills more than 120 in DR Congo capital – AFP – December 14, 2022

3 Floods kill at least 120 in Congolese capital – Reuters – December 14, 2022

Featured image credit: Patrick Muyaya

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