Three dead in CAR floods

2010-08-11 22:52

Bangui - Floods in the Central African Republic killed three people and left more than a thousand homeless in the country's north, the local Red Cross said on Wednesday.

Torrential rains followed by flooding in Nanga Boguila, 400km north of the capital Bangui and some areas around Bossangoa, 250km north of Bangui, partially or entirely destroyed 346 homes and left 1 585 people homeless, the Red Cross in Bossangoa said.

Three elderly people were crushed to death in two different villages when the walls of their homes collapsed.

Humanitarian concerns are growing as victims "lack blankets and especially tarpaulins for temporary shelter" from the floods which have not eased, the Red Cross said. Victims also have no drinking water and little food supplies, it added.

There are only two annual seasons in the Central African Republic, the dry season and the rainy season, which traditionally begins in April and is characterised by periods of heavy rain across nearly the whole country.

Neighbouring Chad has launched an appeal for international aid after several thousand people lost their homes in the rain, but the government has not given any precise figures.

In Niger, more than 5 500 people have been affected by floods in the capital Niamey since Thursday, its governor Colonel Soumana Djibo said on Saturday.

The Niger River, the third biggest in Africa, was at its highest level since 1929, the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) said, following "exceptional precipitation" in several of the nine countries it flows through.