Police said on Monday that 22 people died and 10 others critically injured as a result of floods over the weekend in the town of Mbale in eastern Uganda.
After torrential rains triggered mudslides, two rivers burst their banks, inflicting extensive damage and displacing hundreds of inhabitants.
“The death toll from the floods in Mbale has risen to 22. Ten others are in critical condition,” Ugandan police spokesman Fred Enanga told AFP.
Some of the victims were found trapped in a minibus, he said, adding: “They were mainly relatives and friends who were on their way to a party but were swept away (…) by the floods.
Five dead were found in the submerged minibus, according to an AFP report, while rescue workers looked for other fatalities around the stricken vehicle.
The numerous persons who have been reported missing since the floodwaters swamped houses, bridges, stores, and roadways were still being sought after by joint police, the army, and Red Cross teams.
As heavy rains continue to hammer Mbale, which is located around 300 kilometers northeast of Kampala, authorities have recommended residents to relocate to safer places.
The calamity, according to Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, who visited the area, would have been averted if residents hadn’t encroached on the riverbanks.
According to the most recent census in 2020, the Mbale district, which includes the same-named town, has a population of over 500,000, making it one of the most densely inhabited locations in Uganda.