At least 34 individuals were killed after a river in eastern Uganda burst its banks, giving solid sludge and stones barrelling into houses, disaster officials said Friday.
Rescue teams were picking through the rubble, looking for survivors and victims of the disaster which took place on Thursday in the town of Bukalasi in the Bududa district. An unknown amount of people were still missing.
“I can confirm 34 people are dead. We have to wait for our assessment to be completed before we can say how many are missing,” said Uganda Red Cross spokeswoman Irene Nakasiita.
On Thursday she shared photos on WhatsApp of the scene of what she described as a “massive landslide”, including images of dismembered corpses caked in mud laid out by the river.
Some of the bodies had been partly covered with banana leaves by members of the public.
“The cause was the river bursting its banks upstream following heavy rain. When the water flowed down it brought a number of big stones with it that destroyed people’s houses,” Nakasiita said.
“Our search and rescue team is still on the ground evacuating people and removing them from the rubble.”
She said the Red Cross was sending relief supplies to the area, such as tarpaulins, blankets and water purification tablets.