Report: 20 People Killed and 500 Houses Damaged in Rwanda’s Month of Disasters

A report by the Ministry in Charge of Emergency Management (MINEMA) indicates that 200 disaster incidents were recorded in September this year, killing 20 people.

The disaster cases consist of 11 earthquakes, 11 fires, nine floods resulting in five fatalities, one house collapse, four landslides causing the deaths of three individuals, 25 lightning incidents resulting in the loss of 10 lives, 55 rainstorms causing one fatality, four wildfires, and 80 windstorms.

According to the report, the disasters injured 58 people in one month, with 43 people injured by lightning alone.

About 500 houses, 58 hectares of crops, nine hectares of forests, 37 classrooms, three road sections, 11 churches, five bridges, eight administrative offices, three transmission lines, and one factory were damaged, while 125 livestock perished.

The districts that recorded a large number of disaster incidents, the report shows, include Burera, Gatsibo, Gicumbi, Kayonza, Nyamagabe, Nyaruguru, Rubavu, Gakenke, Musanze, and Rulindo. Four people died in Gasabo and another four in Nyamagabe districts.

Most of the damaged houses were recorded in Gatsibo, Gicumbi, Kamonyi, Karongi, Kayonza, Musanze, Ngororero, Nyagatare, Nyarugenge and Rwamagana.

The assessment also indicates that about 40 hectares of crops were destroyed in Nyamagabe alone. Muhanga District lost many livestock (112) compared to other districts.

The expected rainfall for the month of October 2023 will be slightly above the range of long-term average in Western and Northern Provinces, while the rest of the country is expected to record rainfall within the range of long-term average.

The rainfall for the month of October ranges between 50 and 200 mm.

The wind speed distribution shows that strong wind speed ranging between 6m/s and 12m/s is expected across the country.

According to the forecast, several districts, including Nyamagabe, Nyaruguru (western parts near Nyungwe National Park), Rusizi, Nyamasheke, and parts of southern Karongi, are expected to experience significant rainfall ranging between 700 and 800 millimetres from September to December.

Authorities have urged preparedness and early response plans, given the potential for extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall, hailstorms, and strong winds.

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