Heavy rain kills at least 12 in Rwanda on Christmas night

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-26 22:04:18|Editor: huaxia
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Traffic was affected by heavy rain in downtown Kigali, capital of Rwanda, on Dec. 25, 2019. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)

At least 12 people have been killed by heavy rain in Rwanda on Christmas night, official said.

KIGALI, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Heavy rain that hit Rwanda on Wednesday night had killed at least 12 people, a senior government official said here on Thursday.

"It's unfortunate that we confirm that 12 people have died due to heavy rains that hit different parts of our country on Christmas night," said Rwanda's Minister of Local Government Anastase Shyaka at a press conference about the aftermath of Wednesday's downpours.

The heavy rains also destroyed 113 houses, 49 hectares of agricultural fields and infrastructure such as roads and water treatment plants, said Shyaka.

He called upon Rwandan citizens residing in high-risk zones and wetlands to vacate from those areas to avoid flooding and landslide disasters.

He also said the death toll could have been more if people residing in wetlands in Kigali had not been evacuated by the government recently.

Children run in heavy rain in downtown Kigali, capital of Rwanda, on Dec. 25, 2019. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)

For the past three weeks, about 6,000 Rwandan households residing in high-risk zones and wetlands in different parts of Rwanda were evacuated and relocated to safe areas, he added.

Floods and landslides caused by heavy rains this year have affected 22 national roads and 42 district roads and bridges, Rwandan Minister of Infrastructure Claver Gatete said last week.

Official data showed extreme weather had left more than 100 people dead this year.