18 killed in Ugandan landslides

Story highlights

  • Officials say 9 people were injured and countless more may be missing
  • The landslide occurred in villages in the mountainous district of Bududa on Monday
  • Torrential downpours regularly cause landslides in the eastern part of the country

The death toll from a landslide that buried three villages in eastern Uganda stood at 18 Tuesday, and rescue officials fear the figure will rise.

Another nine were injured and countless more may be missing, the Red Cross said.

Heavy rains sent rocks and mud crashing down on the villages in the mountainous district of Bududa on Monday, about 275 kilometers (170 miles) northeast of the capital Kampala. At least 15 homes were destroyed, said Catherine Ntabadde of the Uganda Red Cross Society.

"Last night district authorities requested all people in high risk places to move to a school that we are using as a primary camp," Ntabadde said Tuesday.

No bodies have been recovered due to the heavy debris that has buried some of the victims 100 meters deep, Ntabadde said. Additional equipment is expected to arrive in the remote area Wednesday to assist in the excavation.

Landslide kills 25 on Philippine island ravaged by rain

The Red Cross is working alongside members of the Ugandan army to relocate more than 1,000 people.

"People are a bit reluctant to move until an incident like this happens. People want to stay near their homes and find out what happened to their loved ones and their belongings," Ntabadde said.

Torrential downpours regularly cause landslides in the eastern part of the country, particularly in areas where heavy logging has left the land stripped of vegetation.

Last August, at least 23 people died when a massive landslide swallowed homes in the Bulambuli district, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) from Kampala.

In 2010, another landslide in the same region killed at least 87.

Rain, terrain slow recovery efforts after Uganda landslide

      CNN recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      North Korea nuclear dream video

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photos: Faces of the world

      Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      How to fix a soccer match

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      15 biggest souvenir-buying no-no's

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.