At least six dead in Burundi floods

2017-03-17 21:41
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Nairobi - At least six people have died in Burundi in a night of torrential rain and flooding that triggered landslides and caused widespread damage, the government said on Friday.

"Torrential rains and strong winds struck several provinces last night," the country's first vice president, Gaston Sindimwo, said in reference to Thursday night.

In the northwestern town of Mabayi, "a landslide smothered several houses, and rescuers found five victims", Sindimwo said, adding that search efforts were ongoing.

Flooding in a suburb of the capital Bujumbura left a person dead, he added.

"It is a real disaster. Several other people were injured and we have so far counted 162 destroyed homes," said the first vice president, who also coordinates a crisis cell tasked with responding to natural disasters.

"But the government is working on coming to the help of those affected."

Witnesses in Bujumbura said the storm occurred on Thursday evening, causing significant property damage.

The Carama, Buterere and Kinama districts of the capital were still flooded on Friday.

Dozens of people died across Burundi during the rainy season, which began in September and ended in February, Sindimwo said. Flooding also destroyed hundreds of houses and swathes of farmland.

Read more on:    burundi  |  east africa  |  floods
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