At least 41 killed as dam bursts in Kenya

May 11, 2018, 08:18 IST | Agencies

Water burst through the banks of the Patel Dam in Solai, Nakuru County, on Wednesday night, sweeping away hundreds of homes, including those on the expansive Nyakinyua estate that borders the reservoir

Officials said close to 40 people were rescued. Pic/AFP
Officials said close to 40 people were rescued. Pic/AFP

A dam burst its banks in Kenya's Rift Valley, killing at least 41 people and forcing hundreds from their homes, officials said yesterday. At least 20 of the dead were children, police said.

Water burst through the banks of the Patel Dam in Solai, Nakuru County, on Wednesday night, sweeping away hundreds of homes, including those on the expansive Nyakinyua estate that borders the reservoir.

"Many people are missing. It is a disaster," said Rongai town police chief Joseph Kioko. Nearly 170 people have now died since March from floods caused by seasonal rains, according to Kenyan authorities. The floods hit as the East African nation was recovering from a severe drought that affected half of the country. Almost an entire village was swept away by silt and water from the burst dam, said Gideon Kibunja, the county police chief in charge of criminal investigations. Homes over a radius of nearly 2 kilometers were submerged.

Close to 40 people were rescued from the mud and taken to hospitals on Thursday morning in operations by Kenya Red Cross and Nakuru County disaster management teams.

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