People stand watch after heavy rains caused floods and landslides, on the outskirts of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo December 13,2022. REUTERS/Stringer
KINSHASA, Dec 13 (Reuters) – At least 120 people have been killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital Kinshasa after heavy rains unleashed floods and caused landslides, a government document seen by Reuters showed on Tuesday.
Entire neighbourhoods were flooded with muddy water, and houses and roads ripped apart by sinkholes, including the N1 highway that connects Kinshasa to the chief sea port of Matadi.
The prime minister’s office said in a statement that the N1 could be closed for 3-4 days.
The death toll was compiled by the General Management of Migration, a part of the interior ministry.
The toll may rise. Health minister Jean-Jacques Mbungani Mbanda told Reuters the ministry had counted 141 dead but that the number needed to be cross-checked with other departments.
Images posted on Twitter by Congo’s government spokesman Patrick Muyaya showed a major road that appeared to have subsided into a deep chasm, with crowds staring at the damage.
“On the National Road 1 there is a big hole. Only pedestrians can pass. We do not understand how the water cut the road,” said local resident Gabriel Mbikolo.