Official: Uganda landslides kill 70

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

BUDUDA, Uganda -- Rivers of mud swamped houses, stores and at least one school after heavy rains in this Central African country, killing at least 70 people with some 250 still missing, officials and survivors said Tuesday.

Rains that began Monday evening continued through the night, triggering landslides in the Bududa region, 170 miles east of Kampala.

Uganda's minister of state for disaster preparedness said the army would join the rescue effort.

"Many people, including over 50 students who had taken refuge in Namatsi hospital, are either dead or missing," said the minister, Musa Ecweru. "The government is doing all it can to rescue those still alive. President [Yoweri] Museveni has instructed the army to join the organizations and volunteers who carrying out rescue work."

Wilson Watira, a district chairman, said that rescuers had recovered 70 bodies by Tuesday evening but that around 250 people were still missing.

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