At least 176 people have been killed in flash floods in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, a regional official says

Torrential rain in South Kivu province caused a river to overflow on Thursday and led to significant damage and loss of life in the villages of Bushushu and Nyamukubi, the provincial government said in a statement.

South Kivu Governor Théo Ngwabidje Kasi put the death toll at 176 and said that other people were still missing. A local civil society member, Kasole Martin, said 227 bodies had been found.

“People are sleeping out in the open. Schools and hospitals have been swept away,” Martin said.

The weather had cleared on Friday, revealing flattened houses and corrugated iron roofs jutting out from beneath thick layers of mud, photos showed.