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03-04-2010, 05:05 AM
Uganda: Death toll in Uganda landslide rises to 80

KAMPALA, (Xinhua): The death toll in a landslide on Monday night in a hilly area in eastern Uganda has risen to 80, the local Red Cross and officials reported on Wednesday.

More people are feared dead as hundreds of others were reported missing after a mudslide covering an area of 200 meters came down and buried three villages in an eastern district.

The landslide following torrential rains occurred at about 9:00 p. m. local time (1800 GMT) on Monday, destroying 85 homesteads in Nametsi, Kubehwo and Namangasa villages in Bukalasi sub-county,of Bududa district.

The Ugandan government on Tuesday dispatched a specialized team to assist in the rescue operations and search for victims.

"Over 307 people are still missing. Only 31 survivors have been accounted for," according to Tarsis Kabwegyere, the minister for relief, disaster preparedness and refugees.

Rescuers are scrambling with difficulties like the poor terrain in the area which is barely accessible by vehicles, officials said.

People were using bare hands and simple tools to dig into the mud in search for possible survivors. They found up to 70 bodies late at night.