Rwanda: Landslides kill another 18, death toll reaches 200

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Landslides in Rwanda killed at least 18 people over the weekend after heavy rains hit parts of the country once again.

The incident means at least 200 people have been killed by landslides in the country this year, as Rwanda grapples with unusually heavy rains. Rwanda is one of Africa’s most densely populated countries and its mountainous landscape contributes to heavy rainfall and increases the risk of landslides.

Landslides kill 18 on Sunday

Fifteen people were killed on Sunday following heavy rains in Western Province and another three were killed by mudslides in the city, according to officials. Residents have been digging in search of those buried after the heavy downpour and officials are reminding people in high-risk areas to leave.

Last week, Interior Minister Francis Kaboneka said that residents in areas identified as high risk by the government should leave, warning they could be forcibly removed if they defy the directive.

The land of a thousand hills

Rwanda is known as “the land of a thousand hills” due to its mountainous landscape and heavy rains are common in the East African nations. However, this year has seen particularly heavy rainfall, killing at least 200 people in 2018 so far.

“The four months have been far worse than other years. This is terrifying,” Philippe Habinshuti, from the disaster management ministry, told Reuters.

Featured image: By RwandaVolcanoAndLake.jpg: CIATderivative work: Amakuru (talk) – RwandaVolcanoAndLake.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15769249

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.