55 dead and 350 missing after landslide in Uganda
Issued on: Modified:
At least 55 people were killed and around 350 are missing after a landslide in eastern Uganda, according to the Red Cross. It occurred overnight in a mountainous region near the town of Mbale, after heavy rain flooded the area. Around eighty houses have been buried in the mud and there are fears of more mudslides.
“Cracks can be seen forming along the mountain [Mount Elgon] and activity can be heard inside, indicating a possible reoccurrence of the mudslides,” correspondent Patricia Okoed Bukumunhe told RFI.
The situation remains critical
Report - correspondent Patricia Okoed Bukumunhe, Kampala
“Rescue workers are searching for survivors, but efforts are being hampered by more rain and inadequate equipment. The most effected district is Bududa, where up to 300 people are feared buried ,” she added.
Wanzusi Wasieba, government commissioner for Bududa district, said “we are trying to evacuate the people but it is difficult”.
“Currently the place can only be reached by foot,” Tarsis Kabwegyere, the Minister of Relief and Disaster Preparedness, told parliament.
“The rescue operations are ongoing – UPDF [Uganda Peoples Defence Force], Uganda police, doctors – flew to the site by helicopter this morning, to provide first aid and clean drinking water to the survivors. The Ugandan Red Cross society is providing blankets, tents, jerrycans, saucepans, plates and cups,” he said.
Okoed Bukumunhe said that residents did receive prior warnings about the threat of mudslides in the area.
“Communities around the mountainous area were earlier in the year warned to evacuate after the weather department predicted harsh conditions. Not heeding to the warning has cost them their lives and property.”
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe