40 killed in landslide in Democratic Republic of Congo

BUNIA, Democratic Republic of Congo (AFP) - A landslide in a fishing village on the banks of a lake in the north-east Democratic Republic of Congo, has killed 40 people, a regional official said on Thursday (Aug 17).

Part of a mountain engulfed "a fisherman's camp after heavy rains caused a landslide", the deputy governor of Ituri province, Mr Pacifique Keta, said.

He added that 40 people were killed in the disaster in the village of Tora, on the banks of Lake Albert on Wednesday.

The news comes on the heels of devastating floods in the Sierra Leone capital of Freetown on Monday that killed some 300 people.

"Yesterday (Aug 16), we buried 28 bodies and today we will bury 12 more," said Mr Keta.

A doctor at the nearby Tshomia hospital, Dr Herve Isamba, said they were treating four people injured in the landslide.

Mr Keta said two people were also killed on Wednesday when an illegal mine flooded in the nearby Walendu Piti area.

The vast country has experienced a number of previous such disasters.

In May 2010, a mudslide that swept over the eastern village of Kibiriga killed 19 people. The bodies of 27 others were never recovered.

In February 2002, about 50 people were found dead after a wave of mud and rocks hit the eastern town of Uvira, submerging about 150 homes.

Fishing on Lake Albert is one of the main occupations in Ituri, which borders Uganda.

The province, rich in gold deposits, saw several outbreaks of violence during the Second Congo War between 1998 and 2003.

That ended with the aid of a French-led international military intervention.