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Kenya faces widespread devastation as floods claim over 90 lives, displace thousands


Kenyan authorities on Sunday warned of more deaths and property destruction after heavy rains and devastating floods swept across the East African nation.

According to the police, more than 90 people have lost their lives, with fears the number could be higher as many bodies are missing after being swept away by the raging waters.

Police confirmed that they recovered at least 11 new bodies from different locations on Saturday night as heavy rains wreaked havoc across the country, killing several people as they attempted to cross flooded rivers. Police also discovered nine bodies, including six women and three men, after a truck was swept away by raging waters in Sultan Hamud, a town in Makueni County, on Friday.

Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome said on Saturday night that they have dispatched more personnel to various roads to help direct motorists and other users.

According to humanitarian organizations, people who were hiding under trees when lightning struck and carried away by flash floods also died and sustained injuries.

Property, including homes, schools and businesses, was destroyed in several counties in areas that received above-average rainfall.

Kenyan officials and humanitarian organizations have urged people to avoid flooded areas, move to higher ground, and avoid driving during heavy rains.

Children fleeing floodwaters that wreaked havoc at Mororo, Kenya, April 28, 2024. /CFP
Children fleeing floodwaters that wreaked havoc at Mororo, Kenya, April 28, 2024. /CFP

Children fleeing floodwaters that wreaked havoc at Mororo, Kenya, April 28, 2024. /CFP

The government said it has scaled up measures to mitigate disasters caused by the ongoing rains and floods, even as the meteorological department warned that heavy rainfall will continue.

The weatherman has predicted that rainfall is expected to continue over several parts of the country, with more than 40 counties expected to receive heavy rainfall in the coming days.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said on Friday that the government has made several interventions, such as the financial allocation of $30 million for an immediate response to the rain's havoc.

The devastating floods are exacerbating the country's humanitarian crisis in the wake of El Nino floods in late 2023 that killed at least 178 people, injured 242 and displaced thousands.

Government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura said on Saturday that the heavy downpour has affected all 47 counties.

Mwaura said the floods have displaced 24,196 households, comprising 131,450 people, as he affirmed that the government has intensified the search and rescue mission through a multi-agency team.

(Cover image via CFP)

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency
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