Congo floods kill 30, destroy houses - government

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KINSHASA, Oct. 26 (Reuters) Floods, landslides and falling power lines killed 30 people during a night of heavy rain in Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling and dilapidated capital Kinshasa, a government ministry said today.

Rains started late yesterday and continued into today, causing floods that cut off roads, destroyed bridges and triggered landslides in the city of at least 6 million people.

''Until now, the toll is at 30 identified dead. Others are wounded. Some houses are damaged. Many were completely destroyed,'' said Saleh Kinyongo, spokesman for Congo's Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

He said some victims were electrocuted when power cables fell into standing water during the storm. Others were crushed when their homes collapsed during landslides.

A Red Cross official earlier told Reuters three people had been killed by lightning.

The region surrounding the vast country's capital is entering its annual rainy season, when daily downpours cause regular and often deadly floods.

Kinyongo said Kinshasa's municipal authorities had begun reopening roads today. He said the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs was setting up a crisis commission to deal with those made homeless by the storm.

REUTERS GT PM2358

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