June 23, 2024

Brighton Journal

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The death toll from the Democratic Republic of the Congo floods exceeds 200 | Climate crisis news

The death toll from the Democratic Republic of the Congo floods exceeds 200 |  Climate crisis news

Authorities say 287 have been killed and 167 are missing after heavy rains flooded riverbanks in South Kivu province.

The death toll following floods and landslides in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has risen this week to at least 287, according to the government of South Kivu province in the east of the central African country.

Another 205 were seriously injured in the floods, which occurred when rivers burst their banks after heavy rains on Thursday, while 167 people were reported missing.

Government spokesman Patrick Muyaya said President Felix Tshisekedi declared a national day of mourning on Monday, and a team of ministers is due to travel to the region to coordinate humanitarian aid and disaster management.

The current rainy season, which is usual in the South Kivu region, is expected to last until the end of May.

The disaster in eastern DRC came two days after at least 131 people were killed and thousands of homes destroyed in neighboring Rwanda, which lies on the other side of Lake Kivu.

On Saturday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres offered his condolences for the victims of the “catastrophic floods” in both countries.

“This is another example of accelerating climate change and its disastrous impact on countries that have done nothing to contribute to global warming,” he said during a visit to Burundi.

Experts say extreme weather events are occurring with increasing frequency and intensity due to climate change.

And last month, a landslide triggered by heavy rains killed about 20 people in North Kivu, a neighboring province of South Kivu.

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The Democratic Republic of the Congo, a vast country the size of continental western Europe, is one of the poorest countries in the world, and is riven by conflict in its east.