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Death toll rising to 32 in ‘Patel Dam’ Solai sudden burst tragedy | Coastweek

SOLAI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan Defense Forces members [left] take part in the rescue work after a dam collapsed in Nakuru County. Survivors search [right] for their belongings after a dam collapsed in Nakuru County. At least 32 people have been confirmed dead and more than 2,500 others displaced after a dam burst its banks in Nakuru County in Kenya, the police said on Thursday. XINHUA PHOTOS - ALLAN MUTISO

Death toll rising to 32 in ‘Patel Dam’ Solai sudden burst tragedy

NAKURU (Xinhua) -- At least 32 people have been confirmed dead and more than 2,500 others displaced after a dam burst its banks in Nakuru County in northwest Kenya, the police said on Thursday.

Regional criminal investigation commander Gideon Kibunja who confirmed the death toll said several people are still not accounted for after Nakuru’s Patel Dam broke its banks.

He said the incident occurred on Wednesday evening, causing extensive damage to homes, schools and businesses.

"The death toll has risen to 32 and many more are still missing," he said by phone.

Rescue operation by people, Kenya Red Cross and Nakuru County disaster management teams went into Thursday morning and more than 40 people have been rescued from the mud and taken to hospitals.

Many are feared trapped at the mud as rescue mission goes on.

Nakuru County officials said the dam water and mud spilt out of the reservoir and submerged homes, extending to a radius of nearly two kilometers.

More than 130 people have died in the last two months and more than 220,000 displaced as raging floods wreak havoc across the country.

This comes as weather experts are warning of more heavy rains in the next few days in an unusual departure from traditional weather patterns.

The East African nation has been experiencing unprecedented flooding in recent days as torrential rains pound the country shortly after it had come out of a severe drought season marked by hunger and water scarcity.
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EARLIER REPORT:

At least 20 killed as dam bursts in west Kenya

NAKURU (Xinhua) -- At least 20 people were killed and an unknown number of people missing after a dam burst its banks in Nakuru county in west Kenya, police said on Thursday.

Local police commander, Japheth Kioko, said that the incident occurred on Wednesday evening after Patel Dam in Subukia, township in the city of Nakuru, broke its banks causing destruction and deaths.

"We have recovered 20 bodies and many people are (still) missing. It is a disaster," Kioko said.

The police, the Kenya Red Cross Society and the Nakuru County disaster management teams have launched a search and rescue operation. Up to 39 people have been rescued and taken to hospitals.

Houses in the area were also swept away in the incident.

It was reported that at least 300 families and 2,500 residents were affected by the dam burst.

Nakuru County Governor Lee Kinyanjui said that 15 ambulances have been dispatched to the scene to evacuate the victims, saying "we will do our best to take (the) affected families to safety and (to) help them get medical attention."

At least 132 people have died in the last two months and over 222,000 displaced as raging floods wreaked havoc across the country.

The East African nation has been experiencing unprecedented flooding in recent days as torrential rains pounded the country shortly after it had come out of a severe drought season marked by hunger and water scarcity.

Kinyanjui asked the public to be careful in the heavy rains season, which comes as weather experts are warning of more heavy rains in the next few days in an unusual departure from traditional weather patterns.

             

 

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