According to a public broadcaster, flooding brought on by torrential rains killed at least 129 people in western and northern Rwanda.
The number of fatalities “continues to rise,” the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency reported on Wednesday.
According to the records accessible from previous years, “this could be the highest disaster-induced death toll to be recorded in the country in the shortest period,” the government-backed New Times daily stated.
Following heavy rain Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, Francois Habitegeko, the governor of Rwanda’s Western province, told reporters that a search for additional victims was in progress.
More rain is expected, the Rwanda Meteorology Agency has warned.
In the past, the government requested that people living near marshes or other hazardous locations leave.
The capital, Kigali, and the western and northern provinces are notably hilly, rendering them susceptible to landslides during the rainy season.
According to data released by the Ministry of Emergency Management last month, weather-related disasters in Rwanda claimed the lives of 60 people between January and April 20, demolished more than 1,205 homes, and degraded 2,000 hectares (or roughly 5,000 acres) of land.
Heavy rain is also falling in parts of East Africa, particularly southwest Uganda.
In the isolated district of Rukungiri in Uganda, a river burst its banks last week, causing at least three people to drown in floodwaters.
115 people have been confirmed dead in Western and Northern Provinces following the heavy rains and floods last night, and the death toll is still increasing. #RBANews pic.twitter.com/6C89ubXnXk
— Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) (@rbarwanda) May 3, 2023