Rwanda landslides kill 49

Rescue operations continue in Rwanda's Gakenke District where heavy rains triggered landslides which buried several houses.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Heavy rains frequently trigger landslides in Rwanda's hilly landscape.

At least 49 people have died after several days of heavy rains triggered landslides in northern Rwanda, an official statement said on Monday.

"The night 8 May, heavy rains caused landslides in different parts of Rwanda resulting in the loss of human lives and destruction. Forty-nine deaths were recorded," the statement issued by the Rwandan government read.

"Over 500 houses were completely destroyed and various road sections are unusable in the country," it added.

According to local sources, rescue operations were continuing to find missing people on Monday morning.

Heavy rains have fallen for several days in the Gakenke District, causing landslides and burying several houses on Sunday, Wilfried Bigereya, an administrative official, told Anadolu Agency.

Most of the victims were children, Bigereya said, adding that the death toll was provisional as rescue operations were still ongoing.

The geographical location of Rwanda, a country made up of hills and valleys, makes it particularly vulnerable to landslides.

Officials say despite efforts to reduce the frequency of landslides, at least 60 people have been killed since the beginning of the year.

TRTWorld and agencies