Kenyan dam bursts causing "huge destruction", deaths

Situation in Solai Nakuru County after Patel Dam burst its banks in Nakuru County

A dam burst in Kenya's rift valley after weeks of heavy rain, killing at least 27 people and causing "huge destruction", officials said Thursday.

Property estimated to be worth millions of shillings was also destroyed by the raging waters and thick mud.

Nakuru County Governor Lee Kinyanjui stated that his office will do its best to ensure those affected are taken to a safer place.

Local residents say that many people are still missing, leading to fears that the death toll will rise as search-and-rescue operations continue.

Private television station KTN News said that 20 bodies had so far been recovered from the scene.

Last week, at least 12 people were killed when a building collapsed during torrential rains in Nairobi. He, however, said the extent of the damage was yet to be established.

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Government statistics released Wednesday showed that more than 220,000 people have been displaced by flooding as heavy rains hit the country after three consecutive failed rainy seasons had left it in drought.

This image shows a child being rescued after a dam failed near the town of Solai, Kenya, on May 9, 2018.

Among villages affected are those in the farmlands of Nyakinyua, Endao, and Arutani where hundreds of people were displaced. The paper reports that an investigation is underway to find out if Patel "was licensed to set up the reservoirs".

"The county has dispatched ambulances to the scene to aid in the evacuation of victims".

"This will enable us reunite families who may have separated from their loved ones during the incident", he said.

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