The death toll from last week’s flash floods in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo has risen to nearly 400, according to reports.
Authorities say many people are missing. The rains greatly affected the areas of Bushushu and Nyamukubi in south Kivu Province.
The Congolese state declared Monday a national day of mourning.
Floods and landslides have many people in the region mostly in DRC, Rwanda an Uganda, where hundreds died since last week.
The provisional death toll in DRC, announced late on Friday (May 5) by the provincial governor, was at least 176 dead.
“Here in Bushushu, bodies have already been removed from the rubble,” said Thomas Bakenga, administrator of Kalehe territory, where the affected villages are located.
Heavy rains in the Kalehe region of South Kivu province on Thursday caused rivers to overflow, causing landslides that engulfed the villages of Bushushu and Nyamukubi.
The hillside also gave way at Nyamukubi, where the weekly market was held on Thursday, Bakenga added.
In all, several villages were submerged, many houses washed away and fields devastated, when rivers in the region burst their banks due to the heavy rains.
The disaster came two days after floods killed at least 130 people and destroyed thousands of homes in neighboring Rwanda.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has offered his condolences to the victims of the “catastrophic floods” in Rwanda and DR Congo.
“This is yet another illustration 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 happening with increased frequency and intensity due to climate change.