Latest Uganda flood death toll rises to 22

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The death toll from weekend flooding in the eastern Ugandan town of Mbale has risen to 22, with 10 seriously injured, police said Monday.

Two rivers burst their banks after heavy rains caused mudslides, causing widespread damage and forcing hundreds of residents to leave their homes.

"The death toll from the floods in Mbale has risen to 22. Ten others are in critical condition," Ugandan police spokesman Fred Enanga told AFP.

Some of the victims were found trapped in a minibus, he said, adding: "They were mainly relatives and friends who were on their way to a party but were swept away (...) by the floods.

According to a report by AFP, five bodies were recovered from the submerged minibus as rescue teams searched for other possible victims around the wrecked vehicle.

Joint police, army and Red Cross teams continued to search for the many people who have been reported missing since the floodwaters engulfed homes, bridges, shops and roads.

Authorities have advised people to move to safer areas as the rains continue to batter Mbale, which is about 300 kilometres northeast of the capital Kampala.

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, who visited the scene of the disaster, suggested that it could have been avoided if people had not encroached on the riverbanks.

Mbale district, home to the town of the same name, has a population of more than 500,000, according to the latest census in 2020, making it one of the most densely populated areas in Uganda.

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