Residents in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are digging through mud to find bodies after heavy rains overnight Tuesday triggered floods and landslides.
In the city of Bukavu, onlookers gathered to watch on Wednesday as a group of men hauled a car out of the mud to recover a woman’s body from underneath, a Reuters witness said.
In Bukavu, at least 20 people were killed, and in Birinyi, 50 kilometers away, at least 20 more.
Bukavu resident Yvonne Mukupi, who was able to stay clear of the deluge, said her neighbor was swept away by the flood waters.
“We have managed to recover three bodies under the trees, but others have not been found yet,” she said.
Due to warming temperatures, communities like Mukupi’s are becoming more vulnerable to extreme rainfall, which is becoming more intense and frequent in Africa because of poor urban planning and weak infrastructure.
“When rain falls, the main waterway gets clogged sometimes because of the waste, so it gets flooded and it affects the houses,” Bukavu official Emmanuel Majivuno Kalimba told Reuters at the scene, as residents worked to salvage belongings from their damaged homes.
A landslide swept away houses, churches, and roads in the Kasai-Central province on Tuesday, killing 22 people and leaving hundreds homeless.