Dozens killed in Kenya after a dam has burst its banks

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At least 225,436 people have been displaced from their homes, according to a government statement. Military helicopters and personnel have for the past week been deployed to rescue people marooned by the flooding. A dam has burst its banks in Kenya’s Rift Valley, 190km north-west of the capital, Nairobi, on Wednesday night, killing at least 38 people and forcing hundreds from their homes.

search-for-survivors
Search for survivors

A 2km area is engulfed with mud and debris. Up to 40 people were rescued from the mud and taken to hospital in rescue operations conducted by the Kenya Red Cross and Nakuru County disaster management teams. “We have recovered 38 bodies and many people are missing. It is a disaster,” said Joseph Kioko, chief of police in the town of Rongai. Kenya’s interior cabinet secretary, Fred Matiangi, arrived at the site. It has been suggested that the walls of the dam may have collapsed due to the huge volume of water accumulated following heavy rainfall since March. There are concerns that two other dams in the area, which are also said to be full, could also burst their banks. Before the dam burst, flooding had claimed the lives of at least 132 people since March.

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