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At least 40 people die in western Kenya after a dam collapses following heavy rains

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A dam collapsed in western Kenya early Monday, killing at least 40 people after a wall of water swept through houses and cut off a major road, police said.

The Old Kijabe Dam, located in the Mai Mahiu area of the Great Rift Valley region that is prone to flash floods, collapsed and water spilled downstream, carrying with it mud, rocks and uprooted trees, police official Stephen Kirui told The Associated Press.

Vehicles were entangled in the debris on the roads and paramedics treated injured as waters submerged large areas.

Ongoing rains in Kenya have caused flooding that has already killed nearly 100 people and postponed the opening of schools. Heavy rains have been pounding the country since mid-March and the Meteorology Department has warned of more rainfall.

READ ALSO :Kenya: Several people feared dead after boat capsizes in flood-hit east

Kenya’s Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki ordered the inspection of all public and private dams and water reservoirs within 24 hours starting Monday afternoon to avert future incidents. The ministry said recommendations for evacuations and resettlement would be done after the inspection.

The Kenya National Highways Authority issued an alert warning motorists to brace for heavy traffic and debris that blocked roads.

The wider East African region is experiencing flooding due to the heavy rains, and 155 people have reportedly died in Tanzania while more than 200,000 people affected in neighbouring Burundi.

READ ALSO:Kenya postpones reopening of schools as flood-related deaths near 100

A boat capsized in Kenya’s northern Garissa county on Sunday night, and the Kenyan Red Cross said it had rescued 23 people but more than a dozen people were still missing.

Kenya’s main airport was flooded on Saturday, forcing some flights to be diverted, as videos of a flooded runway, terminals and cargo section were shared online.

More than 200,000 people across Kenya the country have been hit by the floods, with houses in flood-prone areas submerged and people seeking refuge in schools.

President William Ruto had instructed the National Youth Service to provide land for use as a temporary camp for those affected.

By Rédaction Africanews 

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