At least 120 people have been killed in floods and landslides in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, according to the Interior Ministry. Dozens were injured. Rescue work is still underway.
According to local and national officials, heavy rains triggered landslides in the past day, especially in city neighborhoods where many illegal, often less durable homes have been built. This applies to much of Kinshasa, where 15 million people live.
Entire neighborhoods were flooded with water and mud. Roads and homes were engulfed in “sinkholes,” holes in the ground caused by the earth suddenly sinking in.
Residents also hold the government responsible for many of the deaths:
dead after the Congo flood
“It’s just a disaster,” resident Piero Mantuela, 30, told The Associated Press, who lost his mother, 9-year-old daughter, and three siblings today. “All those relatives I’ve lost now.” Mantuela himself was saved, as he was working elsewhere Monday night when it started to rain.
The N1 National Highway was partially washed away by the landslide. This is an important connection with the coastal city of Matadi and other cities. The road can now only be used by pedestrians.
In 2019, the Congolese capital was also hit by severe landslides after rains. At least 32 people were killed at the time.
A few years ago, the World Bank estimated that the aftermath of floods like the one in Kinshasa cost Congolese families a combined $1.2 million a day. This relates to loss of income, for example because residents can no longer go to work.
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