Over 40 Dead After Dam Bursts In Kenya: REPORT

REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

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A dam reportedly collapsed in Kenya, killing dozens in the latest of a series of disasters to have hit East Africa as a result of heavy flooding in the region.

The Old Kijabe Dam in the Great Rift Valley region of Western Kenya has collapsed as a consequence of heavy rainfall in the area. Police have confirmed at least 40 people have died according to a report in The Associated Press (AP). Water, mud, rocks and debris swept through nearby houses in the early hours of the morning, cutting off one major road, authorities said, according to the outlet.

Rescuers are still digging through the mud in search of survivors in the village of Kamuchiri near the town of Mai Mahiu, which lies around 37 miles west of the capital, Nairobi, according to the BBC. “The water came at high speed … and washed away many houses and vehicles. We have never seen such devastating floods since we were born here … Very many people are still missing,” local resident David Kamau told the outlet.

Heavy rain has caused multiple tragedies and disruptions on the continent in recent weeks with 155 deaths reported in neighboring Tanzania, and as many as 200,000 people affected by flooding in Burundi, according to The AP. (RELATED: Videos Show Year’s Worth Of Rain Swallowing Up Desert City In Just 12 Hours)

In addition to over a hundred fatalities, Kenya has reportedly suffered significant disruption to everyday life including the closure of schools and the flooding of its main airport. Kithure Kindiki, Kenya’s Interior Minister has ordered the inspection of all major public and private dams and reservoirs in the country in an effort to avert any further accidents, according to local outlet Kahawa Tungu.