Death toll more than 200 in Congo landslide

Searchers have recovered more than 170 bodies from the rubble of a landslide last week in the fishing village of Tora, where the death toll is expected to be over 200.

East Congo Bishop Gabriel Unda asked for prayers for the victims and survivors in the province of Ituri, where the village is located.

"I also ask for a mobilization of the whole community as one body to assist these victims because their first refuge is us, the church,” he said.  

The bishop said the conference had committed this year to planting churches throughout the province.

The village, located more than 60 kilometers from Bunia on the shores of Lake Albert, has about 50 families. The village has an intensive fishing business due to the large amount of fish coming from the lake.

Oudo Manda, a provincial tax collector in the region of Ituri, said villagers heard unusual noises and thought they came from fishermen out on the lake at night. “Suddenly, we heard noises like gunshots, but it was actually big stones from the mountain that broke and collapsed on people’s houses and on merchants who spent the night outside,” he said.

Searchers are hampered by the difficulty of breaking up or moving the large rocks.

The Rev. Chapel Lokalé, pastor of the church in nearby Mungwalu, said two traders who are members of the church are missing and asked for a prayer for them.

Earlier this month, a mudslide in a Freetown, Sierra Leone, suburb killed nearly 500 people. 

Yanga is director of communications for the East Congo Episcopal Area. News media contact: Vicki Brown, (615) 742-470 or

To read more United Methodist news, subscribe to the free Daily or Weekly Digests.

Latest News

Global Health
Since the start of a mobile medical clinic in 2018, mothers in Gilgil, Kenya, are able to get their children vaccinated and receive other medical services. Angela Miloti walked 15 miles to have her child vaccinated at the clinic, which is a collaboration between Trinity Mission Dispensary, a Trinity United Methodist Church project, and the Rotary Club of Gilgil. Photo by Faith Wanjiru.

Mobile clinic saves lives in rural Kenya

Cooperative venture between United Methodist congregation and Rotary Club offers healing and hope to previously neglected villages.
Orphan children receive a goat as part of a project in Mahenye, Zimbabwe. The recipients must return the first female progeny from their goat to the project, which is then given to a new orphan. The program is one of many self-help projects for disadvantaged communities in Zimbabwe funded by three Florida United Methodist churches. Photo by Chenayi Kumuterera, UMNS.

In Zimbabwe, self-help projects spark evangelism

New United Methodist congregation in Mahenya community works with Florida churches to improve livelihoods.
Mission and Ministry
The congregation at Inner-City United Methodist Church in Harare, Zimbabwe, has recommitted to helping stop the AIDS epidemic by taking part in the Common Voice Initiative advocacy program. Photo by Priscilla Muzerengwa for UMNS.

Zimbabwe church vows to halt AIDS epidemic

With new resources, ongoing advocacy and education, the Common Voice Initiative envisions a world without HIV/AIDS.

Sign up for our newsletter!