Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Kenyan dam bursts after weeks of rain, killing at least 32

Kenyan dam bursts after weeks of rain, killing at least 32

Officials in Kenya say a dam has burst on Wednesday after heavy rain, causing "huge destruction", killing at least 20 people.

At least 20 people have been confirmed dead and over 2,000 people displaced after a mega dam in Nakuru County in Rift Valley burst its banks on Wednesday night.According to reports, the dam breached its banks following heavy rains, sweeping away hundreds of homes in the neighborhood.

Property worth of billions of shillings was destroyed by the raging waters as most structures that stood along the water way were swept to a radius of over three kilometres.

"The extent of the damage has yet to be ascertained".

Veronica Wanjiku Ngigi, 67, said she was at home brewing tea with her son at around 8 pm (1700 GMT) when his wife rushed in to say the dam had burst and they needed to get to higher ground immediately.

The Kenyan Red Cross said on Twitter it had so far rescued 39 people.

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Local leaders are now seeking to find out whether the farmer was licensed to erect those dams, amid concerns on the condition of the remaining two which are also said to be full, our correspondent says. Caught between different extremes, millions of Kenyans are in dire straits.

The government said the rain had killed 132 people and displaced 222,456 in 32 counties since March.

"We urge residents to continue to be vigilant due to flooding caused by heavy rains experienced in the county and other parts of the country", he said.

Security services have deployed choppers in areas where roads have been rendered impassible to rescue marooned civilian populations.

The wet weather has contributed to an ongoing cholera outbreak in Kenya, and an increasing number of chikungunya virus cases-spread by mosquitoes-are also being reported.

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