May 7, 2020 / 1:12 PM / a month ago

Heavy rains kill 55 in Rwanda

KIGALI (Reuters) - Fifty-five people died in Rwanda on Wednesday when heavy rains caused floods and landslides, the government said.

The East African nation has in recent weeks experienced major downpours that have led to landslides that flattened houses on mountain slopes.

“Heavy rains across the country overnight caused a lot of damage. On Thursday, 55 people had been counted as dead due to landslides and floods,” Rwanda’s Emergency Management ministry said on Twitter.

The government was assessing the damage in order to help the victims and repair infrastructure.

The government has in the past urged Rwandans who live on mountain slopes to move to areas less prone to disasters.

Wednesday’s toll follows the deaths of eight people in heavy rains on Friday and Saturday, the ministry said.  

In neighbouring Kenya, floods and landslides have killed nearly 200 people and displaced 100,000, the government said on Wednesday.

Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; Editing by George Obulutsa and Giles Elgood

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