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Rwanda evacuates 6,000 residents from areas threatened by heavy rains

Kigali, The Rwandan government on Wednesday said it has evacuated close to 6,000 residents from high-risk zones in different parts of the country threatened by heavy rains.

Some 4,000 of them are staying with their relatives, 1,500 living in government-rented houses while about 300 others are temporarily sheltered in schools, Minister of Local Government Anastase Shyaka told a press conference.

Although the heavy rains began to cease in the third week, disaster management and mitigation measures would still be necessary, Minister of Environment Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya said at the press conference.

Floods and landslides caused by heavy rains this year have affected 22 national roads, and 42 district roads and bridges, said Minister of Infrastructure Claver Gatete.

Official data showed extreme weather caused more than 250 deaths in the African country last year, and, this year, it has left more than 100 people dead, some 5,000 houses damaged and more than 9,000 hectares of plantations destroyed.

In eastern Africa, at least 280 people have been killed and more than 2.8 million others affected by unusually heavy rainfall and flooding by early December, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

By XINHUA

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