World/Foreign News

Scores dead, 90 missing as search operations continue in Kenya

Rescuers were searching on Tuesday for at least 91 people missing in heavy flooding across Kenya, the interior ministry said.

At least 46 people were killed on Monday morning in a mudslide and flash floods in Mai Mahiu town in central Kenya, the ministry said in a situation report, an increase of one on the previous death toll.

Survivors in Mai Mahiu described an onslaught of water that carried away houses, cars and railway tracks.

“When I opened the door, the water gushed in and made its way through the kitchen,” said resident Anne Gachie.

“My husband managed to quickly manoeuvre and get out. My daughters who were in the next room were swept out of the house by the force of the water.”

Fifty-three more people in Mai Mahiu were reported missing, the interior ministry said, while the Kenya Red Cross said its tracing desk had reports of 76 missing.

In all, at least 169 people have died across Kenya from heavy rains and flooding since last month. More than 185,000 have been forced from their homes, according to government data.

Dozens more have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced by intense downpours in Tanzania and Burundi, with scientists saying climate change is causing more intense and frequent extreme weather events.

The eastern county of Garissa, where four people were killed when their boat capsized over the weekend and 23 others were rescued from the floodwaters, has reported 16 people missing, the interior ministry said.

At least 120 people were killed in Kenya late last year by flooding caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon. Those rains followed the worst drought large parts of East Africa had experienced in decades.

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