Uganda mudslides, floods spur deaths, destruction

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Dozens of people are feared missing and remain unaccounted for after heavy rains triggered mudslides.

(CNN) — At least 34 people were killed after mudslides and floods engulfed homes in eastern Uganda, the Uganda Red Cross Society said on Friday.

Dozens of people are feared missing and remain unaccounted for after heavy rains triggered mudslides, which washed mountain slopes into houses on Thursday in at least six villages in Bududa district, located on the border with Kenya. Local news outlets are reporting at least 40 deaths.

A river burst its banks in the eastern town of Bukalasi in the Bududa district and floods swept away houses in the surrounding community, URC's head of communications and public relations, Irene Nakasiita, said in a statement Friday.

Search and rescue teams are doing their best to rescue people from the debris.

People traveling to the affected communities should take alternative routes, the aid agency posted on Twitter. The agency said it had provided blankets and other relief materials for affected families.

"The effect is very devastating and has majorly affected lives of people, livestock, plantations and human settlement. Many people have been displaced while others have had to move to neighboring villages for shelter with relatives and close friends," the Red Cross said.

Communities are working with aid agencies to provide assistance and evacuate residents in affected areas, the government's Commissioner for Disaster Preparedness and Management Martin Owor told Nile Broadcasting Television Services on Friday.

Flooding and mudslides are common during the rainy season in Uganda's mountainous regions, where the latest incident has occurred.

At least 80 people were killed in Uganda after landslides swept villages around Mount Elgon in 2010.

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni tweeted his condolences to those who have lost their lives saying, "The government will look at other options available to stop further occurrences of these disasters."

This story was first published on CNN.com, "Uganda mudslides, floods spur deaths, destruction."