Two babies have been found alive on the shores of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Lake Kivu, days after floods and landslides killed more than 400 people in two villages in the country’s South Kivu province.
“Two babies including a boy of one month and two weeks and a girl of about two months were recovered alive,” a spokesperson for the DRC Red Cross, Kally Maluku, told CNN on Thursday.
One of the babies was pulled alive from the rubble near the lake by locals on Tuesday, Maluku said, adding that the other child was rescued on Saturday after being found floating on the lake.
“The boy had a fractured femur and a facial injury and the girl was safe,” Maluku said of the rescued babies, who were found in Bushushu and Nyamukubi villages that were both devastated by the floods. “The injured child lost his mother while the other child’s deceased mother and father are without trace.”
The death toll has continued to rise in Bushushu and Nyamukubi after heavy rainfall through last week caused rivers to overflow and created mudslides that devastated the villages.
Twenty-six more bodies were recovered on Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 438, according to updated government figures. More than 1000 people are still reported missing.
Provincial governor for South Kivu, Theo Kasi, told CNN earlier in the week that rescue operations were ongoing in spite of the difficulties. “We are in a disaster. We work despite difficult conditions,” he said.
The provincial government also said it was relocating residents affected by the floods to safer sites and funding medical care for the injured, as well as funeral costs for the deceased.
The DRC is located within the River Congo Basin where flood disasters are frequently reported and it continues to grapple with devastating effects of flooding across the country.
At least 10 people were killed on Wednesday in another landslide in the country’s Lubero territory, in its North Kivu Province, authorities said.