At least 31 bodies have been recovered after heavy rains caused a landslide in eastern Uganda on Thursday, the Commissioner for Disaster Preparedness, Martin Owor, has told AFP news agency.
He added the landslides tumbled down onto a small town on the mountain’s slopes on Thursday afternoon.
Uganda’s Red Cross Society has tweeted a photo from the scene:
#BududaLandSlides2018 Both animals and people were swept away in this disaster. Our community volunteers did their best to rescue some people from the debris. In this photo is a bull that was dragged by running water to this valley. @RCClimate @GrcUganda pic.twitter.com/9bqbBEfDp0
— Uganda Red Cross Soc (@UgandaRedCross) October 12, 2018
Uganda’s state-owned New Vision newspaper reported that hundreds are feared dead after a river burst its banks, sweeping away villages and a market in the eastern Ugandan district of Bududa.
The newspaper quoted Bududa district chairman Wilson Watira as saying that 40 bodies had been recovered so far – not 31 as AFP reported.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni said rescue teams had been despatched to the area, and the government would look at ways to prevent similar disasters.
“My condolences to those who lost their dear ones in this catastrophe,” he added.
The area, close to the border with Kenya, is prone to landslides and there have been several similar accidents in recent years.
In March 2010 at least 100 people died in similar mudslides in Bududa.
The Ugandan government has tried to relocate people over the years without success.
Relief teams are now searching the area for survivors.