Heavy rains kill 13 since Jan. 1 in Rwanda

HEAVY RAINS KILL 13 SINCE JAN. 1 IN RWANDA

Thirteen people have died and 20 others injured in heavy rains that ravaged different parts of Rwanda since the beginning of the year, an official said Thursday as experts warned of more heavy downpours in the coming days due to climate change.

The heavy rains also destroyed more than 300 hectares of crops, more than 100 houses, several roads, and electric infrastructure, Philippe Habinshuti, the director of response and recovery unit in Rwanda's Emergency Management Ministry, told reporters.

Beyond normal rainfall is expected to continue through the weekend until Jan. 20, according to weather forecast by the Rwanda Meteorology Agency.

Appealing to residents living in dilapidated houses to relocate to safe places, Habinshuti said heavier rains would continue to pound southwestern parts of Rwanda.

Southwest and western parts of the East African country are expected to receive "beyond normal" rainfall daily, ranging around 20-50 millimeters (0.7-2 inches) in the coming days, according to weather forecast.

Official data by the Emergency Management Ministry indicates that 290 people lost their lives and 398 were injured in different natural disasters last year, while up to 5,968 hectares of crops and 458 hectares of forests were also destroyed by disasters.

Some 8,013 houses, 95 classrooms, four health centers, 151 roads, 102 bridges, 22 churches, 26 water supply systems, and 96 electricity transmission lines were also destroyed, according to the ministry.



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