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

TEXT SIZE - +

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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid