Dozens Dead as Heavy Rain Pounds DR Congo Capital

At least 41 people have died in the  Democratic Republic of Congo’s  capital, Kinshasa, after torrential overnight rains, with some swept away by landslides,  a top city official said.

“The loss, in terms of property and lives, is really huge,” as told by Kinshasa’s vice governor, Neron Mbungu, adding that the dead included a child who was electrocuted.

The official said a bridge connecting the districts of Lemba and Ngaba collapsed, and another was destroyed in the district of Kisenso.

The mayor of Lemba, Jean Nsaka, said a drainage ditch had given way under pressure of the water, and the highway had been engulfed.

“More than 300 homes have been flooded. There are many houses which have been destroyed,” Nsaka said.

Seven other people died in floods  and landslides in South Kivu in the far east of the vast country, local official Seth Wenga said.

According to the officials, several roads leading to the city were cut off by floods, while in Ngaliema a woman died with her child.

Fatal floods are frequent in Kinshasa, Africa’s third-largest city with around 12 million people.

Experts say the city’s substandard building practices and large slum areas give little protection, leading to relatively high death tolls.

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