A landslide triggered by torrential rains in eastern Uganda has killed at least 34 people, the Ugandan Red Cross has said.
Spokeswoman Irene Nakasiita said people were killed by boulders and chunks of mud rolling down hills near Mt Elgon following a sustained period of heavy rains on Thursday afternoon.
Martin Owor, Commissioner for disaster preparedness and management, said the landslides tumbled down onto a small town on the slopes of Mt Elgon, wrecking homes and burying animals.
Relatives waiting anxiously after the landslide
“Most of the people were caught at the trading centre, the landslide pushed huge boulders into a river which burst its banks and the water swept away the people,” Mr Owor said.
Relief teams are now searching the area for survivors.
“There are people who were displaced and they need shelter, food and all other support and we’re moving that relief to the area,” Mr Owor said.
The government has dispatched rescue teams to the affected areas,” Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni wrote on Twitter.
The river burst its banks and the water ‘swept
away the people,’ officials said
The district of Bududa, located 155 miles (250km) from the capital, Kampala, and close to the border with Kenya, is prone to landslides and there have been several similar accidents in recent years.
At least 100 people were reported killed in a landslide in March 2010 and in 2012 landslides destroyed three villages.
The Ugandan government has tried to relocate people over the years without success.