Natural disasters claim more than 50 since January in Rwanda

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At least 53 people were killed while 84 others were injured due to disasters triggered by heavy rains in different parts of Rwanda since January this year, the Ministry of Emergency Management said in its disaster report updates on Friday.

The disasters also destroyed 858 houses and 196 hectares of crops, 23 roads, 17 bridges and 8 churches among others, the report showed.

Lightning, floods and rainstorms were cited among the major causes of deaths.

Outlook from the Rwanda Meteorology Agency shows that heavy rains would continue until May in some parts of the country while in northern and western districts it will go on until June.

From January to December last year more than 100 people were killed due to disasters such as landslides, and floods while more than 230 were injured, according to the ministry statistics.

Nearly 5000 houses were damaged and more than 9,000 hectares of plantations were destroyed in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, five cult worshippers including one-year old child were killed when a cave they were praying in got flooded during heavy rains in a village in southern Rwanda’s district of Nyamagabe, authorities said Friday.

“The incident happened late Thursday during heavy rain. There were 11 [cult] worshipers in the cave, five drowned and the rest survived ,” Nyamagabe district mayor Bonaventure Uwamahoro said.

He said the cult worshipers normally illegally prayed from the cave at night, located in Cyanika sector.

All the five victims including two young boys, an elderly woman and a mother with her one-year-old child hailed from Nyanza district.

They are members of the Episcopal Church in Kirambi in Nyanza district.
Sources said the victims had gone to the cave to look for ‘spiritual powers’ in preparation for a forthcoming crusade.

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