At least 17 people were killed and dozens more are missing after a landslide triggered by torrential rain struck the northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, authorities said.
The disaster occurred in the town of Lisal in northwestern Mongala province, where homes built at the foot of a mountain were swept away by the mud and debris.
Emergency services officials warned that the death toll could rise as rescuers continue to search for survivors buried beneath the rubble.
Matthieu Mole, president of the civil society organization Forces Vives, confirmed the landslide to local media and said that the victims were residents of homes that had been built on unstable ground.
“A torrential downpour caused a lot of damage, including a landslide that swallowed up several houses,” Mole said. “The toll is still provisional as bodies are still under the rubble.”
Cesar Limbaya Mbangisa, governor of the region, appealed for machinery to help clear away the debris and search for survivors. He also declared three days of mourning throughout the province.