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37 dead in floods in DR Congo capital

Thirty-seven people died overnight when torrential rain and mudslides swept though shanty homes in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the authorities said Thursday.

The provincial minister for health and social affairs, Dominique Weloli, said many of the dead, which included “two or three drowned children,” had lived in Ngaliema, a poor hillside community that was particularly hit.

“There has been not only flooding but also landslips, and several houses have collapsed,” Weloli said.

Flooding is a major peril for residents of Kinshasa, a chaotic city with a population of around 10 million people, most of whom are extremely poor.

Many homes are flimsy and built on hillsides where lack of drainage makes them vulnerable to mudslides and flash floods.

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