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At least 129 people are killed in Rwanda by floods caused by heavy rain
At least 129 people are killed in Rwanda by floods caused by heavy rain

Kigali: At least 129 people died as a result of flooding brought on by torrential rains in western and northern Rwanda, according to a public broadcaster on Wednesday.
 The death toll "continues to rise," the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency said on Wednesday.

According to records from recent years that are currently available, the government-backed New Times newspaper reported that "this could be the highest disaster-induced death toll to be recorded in the country in the shortest period."

Following heavy rain Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, Rwanda's Western Province Governor Francois Habitegeko told reporters that search efforts for additional victims were in progress.

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Strong rainstorms that began last week resulted in flooding and mudslides that destroyed a number of homes across the nation and rendered some roads impassable.

More rain is expected, the Rwanda Meteorology Agency has warned. 

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In the past, the government has requested that people who live near wetlands or other hazardous areas leave.

The capital, Kigali, as well as the western and northern provinces are particularly hilly, making them susceptible to landslides during the rainy season.

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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, destroyed 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, including the southwest of Uganda. In the remote district of Rukungiri in Uganda, a river burst its banks last week, causing at least three people to drown in floodwaters

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