At Least 136 Persons Die in Rwanda, Uganda Floods

Heavy Rain, Flood Kill at Least 136 Persons in Rwanda and Uganda (News Central TV)

Flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rain killed at least 129 people in Rwanda and six in Uganda on Wednesday, as rescuers hunted survivors trapped in homes.

A video showed murky water flowing down an inundated road and damaging houses amid chaotic scenes following weeks of rain in the area.

In the western Rwandan neighbourhood of Karongi, where at least 16 people perished, Angelique Nibagwire, 47, said, “We woke up at 2 a.m. and heard people screaming.”

Nyandwi Emmanuel, a different local, said that three relatives perished while they were sleeping during the night as his house collapsed.

At 3:30 p.m. local time, Alain Mukurarinda, the deputy government spokesperson for Rwanda, reported that 129 people had died.

The governor of Rwanda’s Western Province, François Habitegeko, stated, “Our first concern right now is to visit every property that has been damaged to ensure we can rescue any person who may be trapped.”

“Some people were rescued and taken to the hospital,” he added.

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Heavy Rain, Flood Kill at Least 136 Persons in Rwanda and Uganda (News Central TV)

Habitegeko said the River Sebeya had burst its banks.
“The soil was already soaked from the previous days of rain, which caused landslides that closed roads,” he said.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda in a statement said that his government was assisting those affected, including through temporary relocations.

“Six individuals passed away overnight into Wednesday in the southwest Kisoro district of neighbouring Uganda, which is mountainous and close to the Rwandan border,” according to the Uganda Red Cross.

“Emergency personnel have started digging up the bodies to collect the five victims, who were all from the same family,” it said in a statement.

Since late March, there have been frequent, severe downpours in Rwanda and Uganda. Other high-altitude parts of Uganda, such as Kasese near the Rwenzori mountains, where torrential rains and floods devastated homes and forced hundreds of people to flee, have also experienced landslides.

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