At least 38 people died in Burundi after heavy rains triggered landslides that swept through hillside communities in the northwest of the country, according to a provisional police toll on Thursday.
Police said on social media that heavy rains fell on Nyempundu hills in Mugina, Cibitoke province, around 120 kilometres north of the country’s main port Bujumbura, “causing landslides.”
“It happened at night, when everyone was at home, and landslides hit three very steep hills and buried everything in their path,” a witness said.
“Whole families were buried alive in their homes or in the fields. It was terrifying.”
Police said 22 died in Nyempundu, three in Gikomero, 13 in Rukombe, though those were provisional figures.
Landslides are frequent in Burundi, a mountainous country in the Great Lakes region.
The Nyempundu hills are in a difficult region to access, about five kilometres from the Rwandan border. Local authorities including the Cibitoke Governor were at the scene, witnesses said.
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