Home | News    Wednesday 8 October 2014

Seven killed in heavy floods in Magwi county

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October 7, 2014 (TORIT) – At least seven people drowned in flood waters following heavy rains in Eastern Equatoria’s Magwi county over the weekend.

Magwi county commissioner Ben Kingstone said that six people had drowned in Owinykibul and one in Atebi River, which passes through Pajok payam (district).

The region was hard-hit by heavy rains at the beginning of this month.

“The heavy downpour was very devastating rainfall that took place around the beginning of the month. It has inflicted huge cost to some of my payams in the county,” said Kingstone.

The commissioner said that according to his information, the Atebi River had overflowed as a result of the heavy downpour, washing one person away as he attempted to cross.

It’s understood other local warned the victim not to cross the swollen river.

A landslide was also reported in Lobone payam, causing damage to crops and properties, although no deaths were reported.

Kingstone said the landslide had been triggered by heavy rains and had forced many locals to flee their homes.

Owinykibul, where six people were washed away, recorded the heaviest toll.

Kingstone disclosed that an assessments team of non-governments organisations had been formed to verify the damage caused by the rain and flood waters.

“When this thing happen, I call for [an] emergency meeting of all NGOs who were in the county and we agreed to formed a committee that are on the ground accessing the damages of the rain other than relying on rumour,” he said.

Kingstone said the best option currently was to relocate flood-affected people to safer areas in order to avoid further loss of life.

He warned that ongoing rain in the region could cause further damage and increase the likelihood of more landslides.

He said flood waters had also caused significant damage to bridges in Pajok and Owinykibul pay ams and has called for state government assistance as the county does not have the capacity to make the necessary repairs.

The commissioner said that the build up of debris on roads and bridges posed a significant risk to vehicles and motorbikes attempting to cross.

He has called for engineers at the state ministry of physical infrastructure and other responsible officers to undertake an immediate assessment of the damage.

(ST)

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