Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) has sounded an alarm after fresh surface cracks were spotted in Mbale, eastern Uganda, raising fears of an imminent landslide.
“The assessment team in Mbale has encountered such huge cracks as a sign of visible movement of the soil (landslides),” said Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) publicist, Irene Nakasiita on Tuesday morning.
“The community alert system has been activated for emergency safety caution,” said Nakasiita.
The development comes just days after the rains caused a landslide in Busaano Sub-county, Mbale District this past Sunday, killing a one Michael Mukhaali.
Mukhaali’s house was buried under a pile of mud.
Two other houses were destroyed in the same area, although the occupants survived.
Over 350 people are camped at Buwangwa Primary School in Mbale, eastern Uganda after their houses were destroyed during the Sunday night’s heavy rains in the hilly area.
“About 7 villages are affected by the heavy rain and we have teams supporting the assessment process,” said Nakasiita.
“Mothers and children are affected most with huge needs ranging from lack of warm clothes, food, and all basic needs for them to cope with the bad weather amidst displacement.”
Uganda National Meteorological Authority recently said heavy rains would continue in Eastern Uganda till end of September, “eventually giving way to slight relaxation of rainfall activity during October.”
Nakasiita said the Red Cross is working closely with Mbale district disaster management committee to manage and the families with initial coping mechanism amidst the deadly COVID-19 threat.
“The school apparently serves as shelter for the displaced and the classrooms to be used to enforce social distancing as one of the safety precautions to curb the spread of the corona virus,” said Nakasiita.
“We also continue to sound early warning messages to the communities in disaster prone areas across Uganda. Heavy rains are on and communities should be on alert. The assessment being conducted will inform the bigger response for the affected communities.”