Rwanda landslides after heavy rain bring 2018 death toll to 200

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Image caption,
Heavier rain than usual has been falling in Rwanda, which has a hilly landscape

Landslides in Rwanda have killed at least 18 people over the weekend, bringing the death toll this year to 200.

Residents have been digging to search for those buried after heavy downpours.

"The four months have been far worse than other years. This is terrifying," Philippe Habinshuti, from the disaster management ministry, told the Reuters.

Known as "the land of a thousand hills", Rwanda is one of Africa's most densely populated countries.

Fifteen people were killed on Sunday following heavy rains in the western region, Mr Habinshuti.

A local official in the capital, Kigali, told the BBC that three people had also died in a mudslide in the city.

'Forcefully moved'

Last week, Interior Minister Francis Kaboneka said that residents in areas which the government had identified as "high risk" had been asked to leave.

Image caption,
Residents have been digging through the mud in search of missing relatives

People would be forcefully moved if they defied the government's directive, he added.

Heavy rains have also caused flooding elsewhere in the region, including Kenya, Somalia and Uganda.

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