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Kenya flood mayhem: Dam collapses, boat capsizes as torrential rain continues, over 70 killed

At least 42 people have been killed in floods in central Kenya's Mai Mahiu area after a dam burst early on Monday, and the number of deaths could rise.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Nairobi Updated on: April 30, 2024 23:36 IST
Flash floods wiped out several homes as a dam burst, following heavy rains in Kamuchiri village of M
Image Source : AP Flash floods wiped out several homes as a dam burst, following heavy rains in Kamuchiri village of Mai Mahiu

A dam collapsed in western Kenya early Monday, killing at least 42 people after a wall of water swept through houses and cut off a major road, police said. The Old Kijabe Dam, located in the Mai Mahiu area of the Great Rift Valley region that is prone to flash floods, collapsed and water spilt downstream, carrying with it mud, rocks and uprooted trees, police official Stephen Kirui told The Associated Press.

Vehicles were entangled in the debris on one of Kenya’s busiest highways and paramedics treated the injured as waters submerged large areas. Ongoing rains in Kenya have caused flooding that has already killed nearly 100 people and postponed the opening of schools. Heavy rains have been pounding the country since mid-March and the Meteorology Department has warned of more rainfall.

Kenya’s Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki ordered the inspection of all public and private dams and water reservoirs within 24 hours starting Monday afternoon to avert future incidents. The ministry said recommendations for evacuations and resettlement would be done after the inspection.

 

The Kenya National Highways Authority issued an alert warning motorists to brace for heavy traffic and debris that blocked the roads around Naivasha and Narok, west of the capital, Nairobi.

The wider East African region is experiencing flooding due to the heavy rains, and 155 people have reportedly died in Tanzania while more than 200,000 people are affected in neighbouring Burundi.

Boat capsizes in Kenya after flooding caused by heavy rain

A boat capsized in Kenya’s northern Garissa county on Sunday night, and the Kenyan Red Cross said it had rescued 23 people but more than a dozen people were still missing. Kenya’s main airport was flooded on Saturday, forcing some flights to be diverted, as videos of a flooded runway, terminals and cargo section were shared online.

More than 200,000 people across Kenya the country have been hit by the floods, with houses in flood-prone areas submerged and people seeking refuge in schools.

President William Ruto had instructed the National Youth Service to provide land for use as a temporary camp for those affected.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: 'Once in 100 years': Devastating floods kill 31 people in Somalia, 15 in Kenya

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