Congo floods leave 203 dead, more reported missing

Relatives gather to identify bodies in the village of Nyamukubi, South Kivu province, Congo, Saturday, May 6, 2023. [Moses Sawasawa, AP Photo]

The death toll from flash floods and landslides in eastern Congo has risen to 203, with more than 100 people still missing, according to a provisional assessment given by the governor and authorities in the country's South Kivu province.

Rivers broke their banks in villages in the territory of Kalehe close to the shores of Lake Kivu. Authorities also reported scores of people injured.

South Kivu Gov. Theo Ngwabidje visited the area to see the destruction for himself and posted on his Twitter account that the provincial government had dispatched medical, shelter and food supplies.

Several main roads to the affected area have been made impassable by the rains, hampering the relief efforts.

President Felix Tshisekedi has declared a national day of mourning on Monday to honor the victims. The central government is sending a crisis management team to South Kivu to support the provincial government.

Heavy rains in recent days have brought misery to thousands in East Africa, with parts of Uganda and Kenya also seeing heavy rainfall.

Flooding and landslides in Rwanda, which borders Congo, left 129 people dead earlier this week.

A report by authorities on Friday evening had put the death toll at 176 and those missing at 100, they are to issue another update.

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