At least 60 people perished in flooding and landslides in Bujumbura the capital of Burundi following a night of torrential rain, officials said Monday February 10, reports CISA.
According to police, water and mud flooding from hills outside the city have swept away hundreds of houses, and more than 100 people injured. The floods also cut off roads, power supply and destroyed crops.
Heavy rainfall began Sunday February 09 in Bujumbura, which lies on the northeastern shore of Lake Tanganyika and went on for 10 hours reported AFP. Houses in the poorer parts of town were the most affected as they are often built from mud bricks.
“The rain that fell in torrents overnight on the capital caused a disaster,” Said Security Minister Gabriel Nizigama to reporters, “we have already found the bodies of 51 people killed when their houses collapsed or were swept away.”
Nizigama was speaking at a police station in the northern part of the capital, which was the area hardest hit by the landslides and flooding after the rains began pounding the capital late Sunday.
He said three other provinces close to the capital – Cibitoke, Bubanza and Bujumbura Rural – had also been affected by the heavy downpour and said the number of those killed nationwide could yet rise further.
According to police a bridge was washed away on the road to the Democratic Republic of Congo and the road leading out of the capital to neighboring Rwanda was blocked because of a landslide.
Bujumbura mayor Saidi Juma called for solidarity both nationally and internationally in order to help the city cope saying: “It’s the first time in the history of Bujumbura that we have seen damage on this scale.”