At least 20 killed after dam bursts in Kenya's Rift Valley

At least 20 killed after dam bursts in Kenya's Rift Valley

At least 20 killed after dam bursts in Kenya's Rift Valley

A dam has burst in a Kenyan town after heavy rain, causing "huge destruction" and deaths, a government official says.

"Locals at Solai shopping centre talk of a huge explosion" before seeing a cloud of water move their way.

"The extent of the damage has yet to be ascertained", Lee Kinyajui, governor of Nakuru, said in a statement.

According to Red Cross, tens of people were unaccounted for and 39 rescued.

Local television channel KTN News reported that 20 bodies have been recovered so far.

After a severe drought a year ago, East Africa has been hit by two months of heavy rain that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Uganda.

The rescue mission was called off at 2am due to darkness but resumed on Thursday morning.

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Ambulances rush survivors of the tragedy to hospital on May 9, 2018.

Among villages affected are those in the farmlands of Nyakinyua, Endao, and Arutani where hundreds of people were displaced.

An area representative Peter Mbae told the Daily Nation "We assure residents that the rescue teams are doing their best to evacuate affected families to safety and assist victims get medical attention".

Nakuru east deputy county commissioner Omar Salat who is doubling as the acting Nakuru county commissioner assured the victims of the government's support.

After a severe drought, weeks of torrential rains in Kenya have led to flooding and mudslides that have left 159 dead.

The unusually heavy rains began in March and have so far killed at least 132 people.

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