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Kenya floods: Scores missing after weeks of heavy rain


Mai Mahiu, Kenya
CNN

At least 91 people are missing after heavy flooding in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, the government said Tuesday, after weeks of heavy rains and flash floods ravaged parts of the country.

Some 76 people are missing after flooding near the hard-hit town of Mai Mahiu, northwest of Nairobi. Residents and first responders told CNN the disaster was caused by water blowing into a blocked tunnel under a railroad bridge. So far, 71 people have been confirmed dead following the incident.

Ten other people are missing in eastern Kenya, four in Nairobi County and one in the coastal region bordering the Indian Ocean, said Isaac Mwaura, a government spokesman.

The floods have also displaced 190,942 Kenyans, which Mwaura said is about 5,000 more people than Monday.

“Nairobi County is the worst affected with 147,000 fellow Kenyans displaced and therefore accounts for 77% of all displacement in the country,” he said.

A CNN team on the ground said that in one area of ​​Mai Mahiu, a strong smell led villagers to believe a body was lying under a pile of uprooted trees and mud.

One resident, a motorcycle taxi driver, who wished to remain anonymous, told CNN that he had provided fuel for an electric saw used to cut down uprooted trees.

“Ask the government to send us excavators,” he said.

Kenyan President William Ruto ordered the military to deploy personnel to help find the missing people.

Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

Residents gather at the riverside on Monday to search for missing people in Mai Mahiu.

The CNN team said the body of a young man was pulled from flood debris earlier Tuesday in the same area after the ringing of a cell phone prompted neighbors to start digging. They say it took residents hours of digging Monday and Tuesday to be able to recover this body.

Mwaura said the government had set up 52 “displaced persons camps” – two more since Monday – to provide flood-affected people with “alternative temporary accommodation”.

“Weather forecasts for the period April 30 to May 6 indicate that rainfall is expected to continue in several parts of the country,” he said, which he said “threatens to exacerbate ongoing flooding.” .

The government is “providing food and non-food items and offering relief and evacuations,” Mwaura also noted.

Kenya has recorded heavy rains since mid-March, but downpours have intensified over the past week, leading to massive flooding that has killed dozens of people.

“Kenya faces a worsening flood crisis due to the combined effects of El Niño and ongoing long rains from March to May 2024,” said IFRC Secretary General and CEO Jagan Chapagain . said in a post onreferring to the climate pattern that originates in the Pacific Ocean along the equator and impacts weather patterns around the world.

“Since November 2023, El Niño has triggered devastating floods and river overflows, causing more than a hundred deaths and considerable damage. »

View this interactive content on CNN.com

The Horn of Africa, a region of East Africa that includes Kenya, is one of the most climate-vulnerable regions in the world. Heavy rains also affected Tanzania and Burundi.

The impact of Kenya’s most recent rains may also have been compounded by the fact that they fell on very hard and dry soils after years of catastrophic drought, which affected many parts of Kenya, killing livestock and crops and causing widespread famine and water insecurity. This drought was made 100 times more likely by global warming pollution from fossil fuels, according to an April analysis from World Weather Attribution.



News Source : amp.cnn.com
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With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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