Congo Mudslide -The Democratic Republic of Congo experienced a massive mudslide on Wednesday, August 16, an incident which has reportedly claimed up to 200 lives.
The landslide which was triggered by heavy rains struck the fishing village of Tora of Ituri province village of Tora, on the shores of Lake Albert, a seismically active zone in the western Rift Valley.
This comes only a few days after a mudslide engulfed hundreds of people and destroyed properties in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The Congo mudslide was immediately followed with scores of rescue teams who unfortunately, were unable to find survivors as they did not have the means to move the large rocks.
The number of missing people have continued to increase as rescue is complicated by the high mountains surrounding the place.
Speaking to Aljazeera news, Pacifique Keta, vice governor of Ituri province confirmed the complicated rescue which saw only a few rescued persons taken to the hospital for treatment.
He also said the toll was an estimate based on the number of households submerged and the population of the households.
Not First Mudslide in Congo
This is not counted as Congo’s first Mudslide. In May 2010, a mudslide swept over the eastern Congo village of Kibiriga and killed 19 people. Bodies of 27 others were never recovered.
In 2002 also, about 50 people were found dead after a wave of mud and rocks hit the eastern town of Uvira, submerging about 150 homes.
Eastern Congo is also on a seismic fault line and frequently suffers earthquakes. Congo is in the middle of a humanitarian crisis, with about 7.7 million people on the verge of starvation, according to UN food agencies.
Mudslides in Africa
Following the almost simultaneous incidents, the question what country is next? is sure to run through the minds of many, especially neighboring countries of the two locations met with the bizarre incidents.
First, it was in Siera Leone where more than 400 people were killed and 600 still missing after a mudslide. Sierra Leone buried 461 victims of the mudslide which swept away homes on the edge of Freetown, the capital.
Many parts of west and central Africa are vulnerable to landslides, because land is heavily deforested and communities crowd into steep hillsides.