BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – At least 14 people died in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after torrential rains battered the city of Bukavu overnight, causing landslides and houses to collapse, a local official said on Monday.
The victims were all killed in the Bukavu commune of Ibanda, where many people live in makeshift houses that collapsed under the rain, the mayor of the commune, Jean Balek Mugabo, told Reuters via telephone.
The death toll is likely to rise as several victims are in hospital with serious injuries, he added.
Congo is in the midst of political campaigns in the run-up to general elections on Dec. 20 that have highlighted weak infrastructure across Africa’s second-largest country, particularly in conflict-torn eastern provinces such as South Kivu, where Bukavu is located.
Poverty and poor infrastructure make communities such as those in Ibanda more vulnerable to extreme weather such as heavy rain.
Flash floods killed more than 400 people in a remote, mountainous area of South Kivu in May.
(Reporting by Crispin Kyala; Writing by Sofia Christensen; Editing by Susan Fenton)