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Floods kill at least 42 in central Kenya after dam bursts

Floods kill at least 42 in central Kenya after dam bursts

Baku, April 29, AZERTAC

At least 42 people died when a dam burst its banks near a town in Kenya’s Rift valley, the local governor has said, as heavy rains and floods battered the country, according to the Guardian.

The dam burst near Mai Mahiu in Nakuru county, washing away houses and cutting off a road, with rescuers digging through debris to find survivors.

“Forty-two dead, it’s a conservative estimate. There are still more in the mud, we are working on recovery,” the Nakuru governor, Susan Kihika, said.

The dam collapse raises the total death toll over the March-May wet season to 120 as heavier-than-usual rain poundseast Africa, compounded by weather pattern known as El Niño.

Meanwhile, the Kenya Red Cross said it had retrieved two bodies after a boat carrying “a large number of people” capsized at the weekend in flooded Tana River county in the east of the country, adding that 23 others had been rescued. On Saturday, officials said 76 people had lost their lives in Kenya since March. Flash floods have submerged roads and neighbourhoods, leading to the displacement of more than 130,000 people across 24,000 households, many of them in the capital, Nairobi, according to government figures released on Saturday.

Schools have been forced to remain shut after midterm holidays, after the education ministry announced that it would postpone their reopening by a week due to “ongoing heavy rains”. El Niño is a naturally occurring climate pattern typically associated with increased heat worldwide, leading to drought in some parts of the world and heavy rains elsewhere. Late last year, more than 300 people died in rains and floods in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, just as the region was trying to recover from its worst drought in four decades that left millions of people hungry. The UN’s World Meteorological Organization said in March that the latest El Niño is one of the five strongest ever recorded.

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