AT LEAST three people died and several houses and other properties destroyed following a heavy rain in Nyabihu District on Wednesday.
The most hard-hit area was Jenda sector, where three people; two babies and one woman died as a result of the downpour.
Officials confirmed the deaths Thursday morning without availing the identities of the causalities.
“The incident cost lives of three people including a woman and her baby who were sleeping in one of affected houses and another child who died from another house that collapsed. More properties and livestock were also affected and we are still accessing the extent of the damage,” said Theoneste Uwanzwenuwe, the Nyabihu district mayor.
Nyabihu is one of the areas that are most vulnerable to heavy rains with much of the damage attributed to waters flowing from the Volcanoes National Park, the same water that washed away the houses during the Wednesday rain.
Uwanzwenuwe said that at least between 30 and 40 houses were completely washed away. Over 100 other houses were also weakened by same rain, he added.
“The affected houses are not even in designated high risk zones and it came as a shock for us. Apart from taking away the lives of people and demolishing houses, the whole district is in danger because many more houses have been weakened,” said the Mayor.
He said that the affected people have been advised to seek temporary shelter from neighbours as the district and relevant authorities work out an emergence relief plan.
“Those whose houses were destroyed need houses and we call for the concerned institutions to avail the support to ensure they get shelter as soon as possible,” he said.
Philippe Habinshuti, the Director of Disaster Response and Recovery at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees (MIDMAR) said that the ministry has assigned people to carry out assessment of the damaged properties so as to identify how many need support.
“We have assigned people to carry out assessment of the lost property and what is needed so that we avail support,” said Habinshuti.
Meanwhile, early this week, over 50 houses were destroyed in neighbouring Musanze district which is also part of the districts most vulnerable to heavy rains.