At least 31 people were killed when a landslide rolled down the slopes of Mt. Elgon in eastern Uganda, wrecking homes and burying animals, a government official told reporters on Friday.
Martin Owor, Commissioner for Disaster Preparedness and Management, said the landslide tumbled onto a small town on the mountain’s slopes on Thursday afternoon.
“Most of the people were caught at the trading centre, the landslide pushed huge boulders into a river which burst its banks and the water swept away the people,” Owor added.
Authorities in the area recovered some of the bodies including school children after their school premises were buried by the landslides.
Ugandan president has sent a condolence message to Bududa victims and promised to look into ways of stopping disasters from occurring in Uganda.
Kaguta Museveni, 74, said on Twitter: “I have received the sad news of landslides wreaking havoc in Bududa District, killing a yet-to-specified number of residents. The government has dispatched rescue teams to the affected areas. I urge residents to cooperate with authorities to mitigate the possible further danger.”
He continued to write: “The government will look at the other options available to stop further occurrences of these disasters. My condolences to those who have lost their dear ones in this catastrophe.”
Police say death toll is expected to rise as more than 200 are still missing with over 500 people displaced following the disaster.
The area, about 250 km (155 miles) from the capital, Kampala, is close to the border with Kenya and is prone to landslides, suffering a major avalanche in 2010 that killed at least 80 people.