Kenya Flooding Death Toll Climbs to at Least 150 as Dam Bursts

(Bloomberg) -- A dam burst in southwestern Kenya raised the death toll from flooding in the East African nation to more than 150.

At least 20 people died when a reservoir at Solai in Nakuru county overflowed, Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka said by phone from the capital, Nairobi, on Thursday. Dozens of people who lived near the Patel Dam are unaccounted for, Nairobi-based broadcaster KTN News reported, while the Kenya Red Cross said 39 people were taken to the hospital.

Flooding since the start of Kenya’s main rainfall season in March has killed at least 132 people and displaced 222,456 others, according to the Interior Ministry. At least 32 of Kenya’s 47 counties have been affected by the floods and the authorities have distributed food worth almost $6 million and medicine to prevent and contain an outbreak of water-borne diseases.

Nairobi and the Rift Valley in western Kenya are among areas where rain is expected to continue until May 14, the Kenya Meteorological Department said Monday on its website. On Twitter, it warned of possible landslides in areas where the soil has been saturated by rain and floodwater.

Last week, at least 12 people were killed when a building collapsed during torrential rains in Nairobi. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on Wednesday reported a death toll of 118, up from 100 on May 4. It warned more rain in flood-prone areas could drive thousands from their homes.

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