Heavy rains pounded Rwanda’s capital Kigali city on Christmas Day, triggering widespread disruption of traffic and destroying property worth millions of shillings.
The capital had been decorated with lights and tall Christmas trees only to be struck by a torrent of dirty floods.
Emergency services quickly rolled into action, warning people to stay away from the flooded streets.
“Good evening, we would like to inform the public that due heavy rains, some roads in Kigali are impassable right now,” said Rwanda National Police (RNP) in a tweet on Wednesday night.
Some of the affected roads include Kimisagara-Nyabugogo, the road City Center-Kanogo-Kimihurura and Poids Lourds.
Dramatic pictures showed cars almost fully submerged underwater as police and Kigali city services tried to help affected residents.
Groups of boda boda riders spoke in hushed tones at fuel stations about the floods which were waist-high.
Videos shared by residents of Kigali showed many of their homes flooded.
“We we’re preparing to go out for a drink to celebrate Christmas when heavy rainfall quickly turned into flood water, causing chaos for hundreds of motorists and also pedestrians,” said a one Jose.
“Our homes were not spared by the floods. It’s a terrible experience,” he added.
Kigali City authorities urged the public to exercise caution.
“During this period of heavy rains basing on Meterology department’s weather report, the City of Kigali would like to remind people living in wetlands and other high risks zones to rescue their families and properties, first to save lives.”