January 31, 2023

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Heavy rains cause flooding in Kinshasa

Officials warn: First assessment of flooding and landslides caused by rain in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is only tentative.

A new assessment by Congolese National Radio-Television (RTNC) is still tentative. “One Hundred Died”. An earlier report by police in the DRC’s capital said at least 55 people had died.

The flood caused significant material damage and inundated the main streets of the center of the megalopolis, home to around 15 million people, in the early hours of the morning. According to General Kasongo, victims are counted in different districts and communes of the city, especially in valleys where houses were destroyed by landslides.

Among the dead were nine members of a family, including young children, who were killed when their house collapsed in Kinshasa’s Binza Delwax district of Nagalema commune.

“The Wall Has Fallen”

“Around 4am, we woke up to water seeping into the house.”A family relative testified. “We managed the water and thinking there was no more danger, we went back indoors to sleep and we got wet”, he added. The family went back to bed “Suddenly, the wall collapsed”.

The Congolese capital was paralyzed by heavy rain overnight. In particular, it triggered a landslide in a peripheral district, cutting off National Road 1 heading west.

“In Erosion, Settlements Have Been Washed Away”Prime Minister Jean-Michel Chama Leconde told reporters “Twenty dead”. “Searching in the Ruins” Go ahead, he said.

National Road 1, vital to the city’s supply, connects the capital to the Madadi River port between Kinshasa and the Atlantic Ocean. The collapse of the road occurred in the hilly commune of Mont-Nakafula, which is prone to frequent landslides due to rains and worsened by anarchic urbanization.

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“Replenishment has already begun”, said the Prime Minister. According to him, the small vehicles will be on the road within twenty-four hours. For trucks, you need “Civil engineering work may take three to four days”He estimated.

Earlier in November 2019

In the city, small rivers, canals and sewers overflowed, flooding streets including La Combe, one of the city-state’s twenty-four municipalities, which is generally more sheltered from the daily hassles of the people of Kinshasa. Like power outages, garbage piles and frequent floods. The district is home to ministries and embassies.

In November 2019, around 40 people were killed in Kinshasa after heavy rains caused floods and landslides. Mont-Nakafula was one of the most affected communes.

November, At least twenty people were killed Landslides and flooding caused by heavy rains in Masisi territory (North Kivu), eastern DRC.

Read more DRC: Rains kill at least 41 in Kinshasa

Le Monde with AFP and Reuters