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Kenya’s Patel dam bursts, sweeping away homes in Solai

May 11, 2018 10:52 AM
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At least 41 people have died after heavy rains caused a dam to burst in Kenya, sweeping away homes across a vast area of farmland. The breach happened on Wednesday near the town of Solai, 190km (120 miles) north-west of the capital, Nairobi.

The dead are thought to include children and women trapped in mud. The Kenyan Red Cross says it has rescued about 40 people so far.

Local officials say the full extent of the damage is not yet clear. There are fears the death toll could rise as the search-and-rescue operation continues.

The heavy rains in Kenya and other regional states come after a severe drought which left millions of people in need of food aid.

Eleven bodies, mostly of women and children, were recovered at a coffee plantation, an unnamed police officer told AFP news agency.

It seemed that they had been fleeing but “could not make it due to the force and speed of the water from the flooded dam”, the officer added.

The Patel dam, located on private farmland, and reportedly used for irrigation and fish farming, broke its walls and swept away hundreds of homes downstream.

Much of the area was completely devastated as power lines, homes and buildings were carried away by the fast-running water.


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