25 killed in Rwanda landslides

Kigali, May 9 (IANS) At least 25 people have been killed due to landslides triggered by heavy rains that hit northern Rwanda on Saturday night, local authorities said on Sunday.

Local government officials, according to Xinhua, said the rains which hit Gakenke district in Northern Province, also destroyed about 300 homes.

Philippe Habinshuti, the director of disaster response and recovery at Rwanda’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees told journalists that an assessment was still underway to determine the total damages but the death toll could rise.

“So far 25 bodies were dug out of the muck but we are still gathering information,” he said.

Six of the victims were members of the same family.

Local officials said the landslides buried houses while trees were uprooted and plantations destroyed.

The landslides blocked the Kigali highway and vehicles heading to northern and western parts of the country had been diverted through another route.

The affected district is prone to landslides which blocked the same road for days in 2013.

–IANS

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