DR Congo buries its flood victims as death toll surpasses 400

·1-min read

Dead bodies were still being recovered on Monday from two villages in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where floods killed more than 400 people last week in one of the country's deadliest disasters in recent history.

Survivors looked on as humanitarian workers piled corpses into freshly dug mass graves over the weekend, in videos posted online.

The workers have spent days recovering mud-caked bodies from the villages of Bushushu and Nyamukubi, both in South Kivu province, where days of torrential rain triggered landslides and caused rivers to break their banks on Thursday.

"We left everything behind," said Bushushu resident Bahati Kabanga, 32, who managed to rescue his only child but lost his aunt, nephews and a sister.

"We felt a tremor while it was raining and decided to flee after seeing houses collapse in the distance," he told Reuters by phone.

Kabanga and his remaining relatives have taken shelter in a Catholic school.

"Morale is at zero," he said. "This type of incident can make you suicidal."

Just over 400 people are now confirmed dead, South Kivu governor Theo Ngwabidje Kasi said earlier on Monday, more than doubling the toll since Friday.

Civil society sources on the ground expect it to rise further as bodies were still floating in rivers and buried under wreckage. Hundreds of people remain unaccounted for, according to the United Nations.

'No trace of the house'

"There was no trace of the house when I got back," she told Reuters.

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