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Congolese Capital Kinshasa Floods Caused By Heavy Rain Kills At least 120

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Congolese Capital Kinshasa Floods Caused By Heavy Rain Kills At least 120

(CTN NEWS) – In Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, severe rains caused floods and landslides that killed at least 120 people on Tuesday, according to a government document.

Houses and roads, notably the N1 highway that connects Kinshasa to the main seaport of Matadi, were ripped apart by sinkholes, and entire neighborhoods were inundated with murky water.

According to a statement from the prime minister’s office, the N1 may be blocked for three to four days.
The General Management of Migration, a division of the interior ministry, tallied the fatalities.

Congolese Capital Kinshasa Floods Caused By Heavy Rain Kills At least 120

People stand to watch after heavy rains caused floods and landslides on the outskirts of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, December 13, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer

Sama Lukonde, who led an assessment team, said a comprehensive assessment would determine the exact death toll.

“As some people are still buried in the rubble, it is difficult to determine the exact death toll until a final assessment,” Mayor Alidor Tshibanda of the Mont-Ngafula commune told reporters.

The toll could go up. Jean-Jacques Mbungani Mbanda, the health minister, told Reuters that although the ministry had tallied 141 fatalities, the figure needed to be verified with other ministries.

Images sent on Twitter by Patrick Muyaya, the government spokesman for Congo, showed crowds gathered around the main road that appeared to have collapsed into a large gap.

“There is a big hole on National Road 1. Only foot traffic is permitted. We are baffled by how the water severed the road, “said Gabriel Mbikolo, a local.

With a population of almost 15 million, Kinshasa, formerly a fishing hamlet on the banks of the Congo River, has developed into one of Africa’s biggest megacities.

The city has become more susceptible to flash floods during heavy rains, which have become more common due to climate change due to poorly controlled fast urbanization.

When low-lying districts of Kinshasa were flooded by excessive rain in 2019, various structures and roadways collapsed, resulting in at least 39 fatalities.

According to a 2020 World Bank document, household expenditures associated with flooding total $1.2 million per day due to widespread transportation disruptions and infrastructure damage.

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