News / Africa

Ugandan Landslide Death Toll Rises

Officials in Uganda say nearly 80 people have been killed and about 300 others are missing, feared dead

Officials in Uganda say nearly 80 people have been killed and about 300 others are missing and feared dead following a massive landslide late Monday in a remote part of eastern Uganda. 

Ugandan army engineers have been sent to the region of Bududa, about 250 kilometers northeast of the capital, Kampala, to aid rescuers working frantically to find survivors.

Seventy-seven bodies have been recovered from the wreckage of at least 85 homes spread out over three villages. Uganda's Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru says many more are feared dead under tons of mud and debris.

"It is believed that probably about 300 people could be dead.  The army is leading a team now.  The trouble is you cannot use modern equipment because the terrain is so bad.  You can only reach that place by foot and you need to be physically fit to do that," said Ecweru.

About 100 of the missing are children, who had earlier taken shelter in a health center now buried in mud.  Ecweru says lack of mechanical diggers means rescuers can only use handheld tools, making search and rescue especially difficult and time-consuming.

Rain is also continuing to fall in the area, causing widespread flooding and blocking access to the remote region.  Ugandan Red Cross workers say they have asked the army to help clear water and debris from roads so that they can begin delivering tents, blankets, jerry cans, and other essential items.  

Weeks of heavy rain triggered the mudslide, which began on the slopes of nearby Mount Elgon. The affected area is technically inside a national park.  But in recent years, people have encroached into the park, cutting down trees to make way for crops.  Extensive deforestation is thought to have contributed to the disaster.
 
A global weather condition known as El Nino has caused torrential downpours in eastern Uganda and neighboring Kenya in the past two months. January and February are usually considered a dry period between rainy seasons.

With at least one more month of heavy rains predicted, Ugandan authorities have ordered an evacuation of all villages near Mount Elgon.   

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid