KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Rescue efforts were underway after flooding and landslides brought on by torrential overnight rains in eastern Congo’s South Kivu province killed more than a dozen people, a local official said Friday.
Delphin Birimbi, a community leader in Kalehe in South Kivu, said that there were 15 dead in his village and that more than 30 people are missing in the nearby localities of Bushushu and Nyamukubi. He fears that the death toll will rise significantly as more bodies are recovered.
Two rivers broke their banks after the heavy rains which began on Thursday evening and there have been multiple landslides with scores of homes destroyed, Birimbi said.
Rescuers are working to find and save anyone who may be trapped under the rubble of their homes.
In a statement published Friday, the provincial government of South Kivu offered its sympathies to the families affected and said it was sending a delegation to the scene.
Heavy rains 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.