41 killed in Kenya dam burst

Nairobi, (UNA-OIC) - At least 41 people have been confirmed dead in Kenya after the Patel Dam in the town of Nakuru located in the Great Rift Valley region burst as a result of heavy rains that have been pounding the region, police said.

In a statement, the police noted that 20 of those killed were adults while 21 were children. The water released from the dam flooded villages, sweeping away homes and leaving residents chest-deep in water.

"The rains started yesterday at night and then we heard a crack then a loud bang, soon there was water everywhere and the electricity went out, said Beatrice Wanyonyi, a resident from the village of Subukia, according to Anadolu Agency.

"The number of the people who died is likely to increase," she added. "So many people are yet to be found."

Abbas Gullet, secretary general of Kenya Red Cross, said: "The effects of the floods countrywide has now reached a proportion of a national disaster and its severity will be seen when the rains are over.

Majority of the counties affected are the same ones that were affected by the drought, prior to these rains. It is a double tragedy and these communities have been rendered more vulnerable because of the cyclical disasters and their coping mechanisms has been totally depleted," Gullet added.

Earlier, a team from the Red Cross, which is handling the rescue operations with members from the county government said in a statement that 39 people [were] taken to hospital last night after Patel Dam in Subukia, Nakuru County, broke its banks affecting nearby villages.

A government statement released earlier this week had put the number of people displaced by floods in Kenya at 222,456, a number that is likely to increase following the thousands who have been left homeless in Nakuru County.

The Kenyan government has so far used $6 million to purchase food and medicine which has been distributed to the affected in 32 counties out of the 42 that make up Kenya.

Source: International Islamic News Agency