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Congo Landslide Death Toll Likely to Rise over 200

The vice governor of Ituri province Pacifique Keta announced on Friday that the landslide in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo likely killed more than 200 people, based on estimates from the number of households submerged.


“There are many people submerged whom we were unable to save. The rescue is very complicated because there are mountains everywhere, which make it very difficult to have access,” he said.

The deadly landslide on Thursday swept over Tora, a fishing village, on the shores of Lake Albert, which is a seismically active region in the western Rift Valley. The landslide followed torrential rains in the rural community along the lake.

Initial figures said some 40 people had lost their lives in the incident.

“We are trying to enhance the emergency response. The aid agencies and MINUSCO (the UN peacekeeping force) are there to evacuate bodies and any survivors as quickly as possible,” Keta further said.

Located on a seismic fault line, the eastern regions of Congo are usually hit by earthquakes and volcano eruptions.

Back in May 2010, a mudslide heavily hit the eastern village of Kibiriga, claiming the lives of 19 people. The bodies of 27 missing people were never found. In February 2002, a raging stream of mud and rocks smashed the eastern town of Uvira and killed 50 people after submerging some 150 homes.

Koffi Ndugu

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