DR Congo floods: ‘Miracle’ as two floating babies survive on Lake Kivu

Two babies have been rescued floating near the shores of Lake Kivu days after floods killed more than 400 people in east Democratic Republic of Congo.

“It is a miracle, we were all amazed,” local community leader Delphin Birimbi tells the BBC.

Their parents have died but the community is in touch with people who can raise them, Birimbi adds.

It is not clear how the babies survived three days in the lake, but onlookers say they were floating on debris.

The babies were rescued on Monday – one in Bushushu and the other in Nyamukubi, the two villages worst-hit by the floods which struck last week, Birimbi says.

The tragedy has led to distressing scenes in the villages of dead bodies piled up and wrapped in blankets, and concerns about the smell of decomposing bodies, the Congolese Red Cross warns.

More dead bodies were found in the mud on Wednesday, taking the number of dead to at least 411. Of these 317 have been buried. However, identifying all the deceased is a challenge, local leaders say, as some of them were not village residents, but traders visiting from neighbouring towns as rains hit on a market day.

“More bodies are being discovered in a later stage of decomposition,” Congolese Red Cross spokesperson John Kashinzwet tells the BBC.

“Without a large-capacity morgue, safe burial must be done quickly, when identification by family members is possible.”

A representative from medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) earlier outlined the scale of the disaster in an interview with the BBC’S Newsday programme, saying that the villages were facing “a humanitarian crisis”.

Source: BBC

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