Catastrophic flooding in South Kivu Province, DR Congo leaves over 400 people dead
Heavy rainfall affecting DR Congo’s South Kivu Province caused rivers to overflow on May 4, 2023, flooding the villages of Bushushu and Nyamukobi and leaving at least 400 people dead.
Flash floods in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have resulted in at least 176 deaths, with heavy rain causing rivers to overflow and devastating buildings, according to South Kivu Governor Théo Ngwabidje Kasi. The governor added that others remain missing while local civil society member, Kasole Martin, reported that 227 bodies had been found by the end of May 5.
The floods occurred in Kalehe territory, South Kivu province, inundating the villages of Bushushu and Nyamukubi. Survivors, forced to sleep out in the open, watched as Red Cross workers piled mud-covered corpses into a wooden shed. Schools and hospitals were destroyed in the floods.
At the main hospital in Kalehe territory, Dr. Robert Masamba reported that injured survivors had been arriving since Thursday evening. “My team and I have not slept. We have received 56 patients, 80% of which have fractures,” he said.
Heavy rain has also affected other areas of the country in recent days, including Kwango and Ituri provinces. Approximately 20 homes in Kenge, the capital of Kwango province, were washed away on May 2.
An additional 40 houses were considered to be at risk, displacing dozens of families.
Heavy rain and strong winds on May 3 destroyed over 1 000 shelters in a camp for internally displaced people in Savo, Djugu territory, Ituri Province. Radio Okapi reported that around 4 000 people have been left without shelter.
Floods and landslides are not uncommon in South Kivu, which borders Rwanda, where more than 5 000 homes were destroyed over the past couple of days and at least 130 people lost their lives.
The last incident of a similar scale in Congo took place in October 2014, when heavy rainfall destroyed more than 700 homes. The United Nations reported that over 130 people were missing at the time.
11:33 UTC, May 9
Media report up to 400 unconfirmed fatalities, with an uncertain number of persons still missing and dozens of houses destroyed across the Kalehe Territory.
1 Corpses pile up after nearly 200 killed in Congo floods – Reuters – May 6, 2023
2 DR Congo – Dozens Feared Dead After Floods Cause “Immeasurable Damage” in South Kivu – FloodList – May 5, 2023
Featured image credit: TRT World (stillshot)
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