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Six die in Indian mudslide; 12 dead DR Congo floods
by Staff Writers
Mumbai (AFP) Sept 20, 2017


12 dead, 92 missing as floods hit eastern DR Congo
Goma, Dr Congo (AFP) Sept 20, 2017 - At least 12 people died and 92 were missing after heavy rains caused flooding in two villages in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, an official said Wednesday.

"The provisional toll after torrential rain hit the villages of Bihambwe and Matanda in Masisi Territory is 12 dead, 18 injured and 92 missing," said Julien Paluku, governor of Nord Kivu province, where the villages are located.

The rain started on Tuesday, causing a river to flood, local residents told AFP.

"The rain began in the afternoon, forcing those coming back from the fields to take shelter in homes near the river. The flooding caught them by surprise," said Joseph Ndabita, a resident of Bihambwe.

He told AFP he had counted "10 bodies and (seen) others being swept away by the strong current towards the river."

"The water which came down from the mountains has caused damage," said Safari Ayobangira, a local MP, who said searches were underway to find the missing.

Most of the victims were farmers whose fields bordered the Bihambwe river which passes the two villages that lie about 50 kilometres (30 miles) northwest of Goma, the regional capital.

In mid August, at least 150 people died when a massive mudslide devastated Tara, a fishing village on the shores of Lake Albert near the country's northeastern border with Uganda.

The vast country has experienced several natural disasters caused by torrential rain.

In May 2010, a wall of mud swept through the eastern village of Kibiriga, killing 19 people and leaving 27 missing. And in 2002, about 50 people died when a wave of mud and rocks struck the eastern town of Uvira, submerging about 150 homes.

Six people were killed Wednesday in a landslide in northeast India, while heavy rain in the western city of Mumbai caused havoc after a plane skidded off the runway and became stuck in mud.

Authorities in the remote Himalayan state of Sikkim said the six died when their home was swept away by a landside following a monsoon deluge.

"Four others have been injured," Sudhakar Rao, Sikkim deputy police chief, told AFP.

On the opposite side of India, dozens of flights were diverted from Mumbai after a SpiceJet plane overshot the runway late Tuesday amid torrential rain.

All 183 passengers were safely evacuated from the flight from Varanasi after it "skidded off into the unpaved surface" due to wet conditions, the airline said in a statement.

Schools and colleges also closed for the day as a precaution after severe monsoon rain late Tuesday and overnight led to fears of widespread flooding in India's financial capital.

Late last month ten people were killed when torrential rain deluged Mumbai, flooding homes and railway lines and shutting down the city for two days.

Hundreds of people have died in floods and landslides in the four-month monsoon season that draws to a close later this month.

In Mumbai 56 flights were diverted due to Tuesday night's thunder and lightning storms.

Several other flights were cancelled and travellers were told to expect delayed departures while the main runway remains closed.

The plane was still stuck Wednesday evening.

Officials had warned of flooding if heavy rain coincided with a high tide, expected around midday Wednesday, but India's Meteorological Department said the worst had passed.

Railway officials said trains were running normally but many residents decided not to take the risk, opting to work from home.

The city's famed dabbawallahs, who take hundreds of thousands of hot lunches from commuters' homes to offices every day, cancelled their delivery service Wednesday.

Mumbai is regularly deluged during the monsoon season. In 2005 around 950 millimetres (37 inches) fell on the city and surrounding areas in just 24 hours, killing around 500 people.

SHAKE AND BLOW
Niger floods leave at least 54 dead, 200,000 displaced
Niamey (AFP) Sept 15, 2017
Flooding unleashed by three months of torrential rain in Niger has killed at least 54 people and left nearly 200,000 displaced, the UN said Friday. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said most of the deaths took place in the capital Niamey and that more than 11,000 homes were destroyed. Niamey has been hardest hit along with Dosso in the south, Tillaberi in ... read more

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