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Death toll rises to 27 after landslides in eastern Uganda


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Death toll rises to 27 after landslides in eastern Uganda

2011-08-30 19:38:59 GMT+7 (ICT)

BULAMBULI, UGANDA (BNO NEWS) -- Four more bodies have been recovered after two rain-triggered landslides buried hundreds of homes in eastern Uganda on early Monday morning, the Red Cross said on Tuesday, raising the number of fatalities to 27.

The deadliest landslide happened at around 1 a.m. local time on Monday in Mabono village, which is located in Bulambuli District. A second landslide happened in nearby Meru village, while heavy flooding was affecting a number of villages throughout the region.

Red Cross spokeswoman Catherine Ntabadde said a total of 27 bodies had been recovered as of Tuesday afternoon, including eight young children. "We so far retrieved 27 bodies and the five survivors who were admitted in a health center have been discharged," Ntabadde said.

A preliminary assessment carried out by the Red Cross showed 1,548 households were affected by the landslides. "These include those whose houses were smashed and those surrounding the tragedy scene where cracks are many and intense," Ntabadde explained.

The spokeswoman said rescue work was still ongoing on Tuesday and said it was not possible to say whether people were still missing, and if so how many. She rejected media reports which said between 30 and 50 people were still missing. "The rescue team is still on ground," she said.

The heavy rainfall also caused serious flooding in the villages of Bunambutye, Bwikhonge, Nabongo and Muyembe, as well as surrounding areas. There were no immediate reports of casualties from the flooding itself but an assessment by the Red Cross indicated more than 24,500 households have been affected.

Ntabadde said current needs in the region are food, shelter, and clothes. "The sanitation situation is very bad especially in Mabono parish and the flooded areas because all latrines have collapsed and water is highly contaminated," she said. "The road in Sisiyi is blocked around the landslide scene. There is need for excavators to clear up the road."

In March 2010, around 350 people were killed when a landslide triggered by heavy rain buried hundreds of homes in the district of Bududa in eastern Uganda. It was one of the worst disasters in Uganda in recent years.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-08-30

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