Floods kill 65 in Rwanda amidst covid cases rise

Rwanda: Up until midnight, 65 death cases had been registered due to floods courtesy photo
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SUMMARY: Floods kill 65 in Rwanda, displaces many due to heavy land and mudslides.

Reports emerging from Rwanda’s Ministry in charge of Emergency Management (MINEMA) have revealed that up to 65 people have been killed by floods due to heavy rains.

In recent days, heavy rains have hit different parts of the country causing heavy life damages.

The rains which fell on Wednesday night caused landslides and mudslides in different parts of the country leading to loss of lives and shelter.

As of Monday, MINEMA reported eight fatalities from floods and landslides, five others injured, more than 100 damaged houses and several roads closed across the country.

By Thursday afternoon, the different source had confirmed the death of around 55 Rwandans.

The affected areas are mostly the mountainous and hilly areas in the country’s northern and western, particularly the low-lying and plain areas in those regions.

“At least 55 people were killed last night due to heavy rains which triggered deadly landslides and floods in parts of Rwanda West, Rwanda North. According to  MINEMA, road Gakenke-Vunga-Musanze is impassable! 91 houses and 5 bridges were destroyed,” revealed Richard Kwizera, multimedia editor.

Later, in the evening MINEMA confirmed the death toll rose to 65 as the search continued by the rescue team continued.  

“Heavy rains that poured Wednesday night caused a number of disasters,” Rwanda’s ministry of emergency management said in a statement on Thursday.

“Up until midnight, 65 death cases had been registered due to floods. The rains also led to damage of infrastructures like roads, 91 houses, 5 bridges and several farms were swept away by the floors,” said the statement.

Also, the number of the dead is expected to increase as the rescue services continue to search for survivors.

In the Rutsiro District in the Western Province, the Mushubati weather station recorded 81 mm (3 inches) of rain on May 2.

In the Musanze District in the Northern Province, at least 28 households have been relocated from the high-risk Mugogo Wetland area to a public school as authorities take action to protect citizens from further flooding this rainy season. The displacement came after floods engulfed farms in the area, destroying crops.

Officials also fear that the rains risk worsening the Corona Virus in the country as people are forced to seek shelter in government camps where enforcement of measures to curb the spread of the virus are hard to implement.

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Rwanda currently has 268 cases of Coronavirus with active cases standing at 138.

According to Meteo Rwanda, more heavy rain is forecast in Kigali, Northern Province, ad Rubavu, Nyabihu, Rutsiro, Ngororero, Muhanga, and Ruhango districts, for the next seven days, increasing threats of further floods and landslides.

Floods kill 65 in Rwanda, displaces many due to heavy land and mudslides, hit different parts of the country causing heavy life damages.

Image Credit: MINEMA

Floods kill 65 in Rwanda in May, and last year lost 117 citizens to disasters including lightning, floods, mine disaster, and house collapse, among others.

The previous year, the country lost double this number, and the government officials said that was bad enough to trigger action against disasters however little has been done.

In Kenya, floods and landslides have killed nearly 200 people in the past month, while Uganda’s Lake Victoria has overflown, submerging houses, a hospital and bridges and displacing thousands.

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