Heavy Rains Cause Floods in East Africa, 260 People Killed
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Flooding has killed more than 260 people across East Africa as a result of the recent heavy rains. Kenya reports 194 deaths by the government. In Rwanda, 55 people died, and 16 in Somalia were killed by floods. An estimated 200 people have been trapped inside a hospital in Uganda by high water levels. Countries in East Africa also struck by a locust invasion and by Covid-19.
Kenyan authorities have advised people to move away from “potential threat” in some of the affected areas. The flood washed away 8,000 hectares of crops as well as some important infrastructure, the government said. Meteorologists say the heavier rains than normal will continue during May, reports the BBC’s Patience Atuhaire in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. The rainy season usually runs through to June.
People have died in Rwanda as a result of landslides in the country’s mountainous north-west. Houses, bridges, and crops lose and hundreds remain homeless, BBC’s Great Lakes service informs the mayors of the affect areas. A river burst its banks in west Uganda, forcing people to flee to the town of Kasese for safety. Rescuers are attempting to meet the trapped patients and carry them to a church at nearby Kilembe hospital.
Water levels in Lake Victoria have reached an unprecedented height in recent weeks, forcing shoreline residents to leave their homes and causing flooding along the lake-fed River Nile. A massive floating island of loose vegetation last month led to a national blackout in Uganda after a turbine clogged in a hydroelectric power plant. Rain-triggered disasters, including flash floods and landslides, killed at least 250 people at the end of last year and affected some three million people across East Africa.