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Floods, landslides to hit parts of the country, met warns

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Thursday October 24 2019
Floods Kenya

Mombasa residents walk through a flooded section on Nyerere Avenue following heavy rains on October 17, 2019. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Central, northeastern and coastal Kenya will receive heavy rain between Thursday and Sunday, the meteorological department has said.

Met on Thursday said many parts of the country would receive above 20mm of rain in 24 hours and asked the public to watch out for floods and landslides.

HEAVY RAINS

The warning comes in the wake of the heavy rains that have pounded caused death, property losses and devastation over the last one week.

Meteorological Department director Ms Stella Aura warned of possible landslides in the central and western regions.

“People in landslide prone areas, especially over the slopes of the Aberdare Ranges, Mt Kenya and other hilly areas over the Western region should be on high alert,” she said.

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“Flooding and landslides may be triggered by any substantial amount of rainfall in low-lying areas over the and over hilly grounds. The public is advised to be on the lookout in those areas that may be affected.”

Counties that will experience heavy rain, according to Met, are Mombasa, Kwale, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kilifi, Homa Bay, Kisii, parts of Tana River, Lamu, Muranga, Embu, Tharaka-Nithi, Busia, Kitui and Taita Taveta.

Others are Nyamira, Meru, Kirinyaga, Bomet, Nakuru, Narok, Baringo, Kakamega, Siaya, Kisumu, Nandi, West Pokot, Isiolo, Uasin Gishu, Garissa, Marsabit, Mandera and Wajir.

“The rainfall is expected to continue for the entire season with occasional breaks,” Met said.

DEATH TOLL

The rains have so far claimed the lives of 12 people, after nine people– including two children– perished in separate incidents in Kitui, Teso South, Mandera, Turkana, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot.

On Sunday, Chief Adow Abdi Mohamed of Wargaud Township, Mandera County, confirmed that a seven-year-old boy was swept away by flash floods as he slept in their house on Saturday night.

Thousands of livestock have died in parts of Turkana, Wajir and Marsabit, with thousands of people displaced from their homes due to the flooding.

In Turkana County alone, the number of livestock lost to the deluge are estimated at 20,000.

NEW ALERT

In the Thursday alert, the Met department boss warned Kenyans of possible flooding in areas that have not experienced heavy rains.

“Flood waters may suddenly appear in places where it has not rained and can be deeper and faster than they look,” she went on.

She cautioned against driving through water-logged areas, and walking in moving water.

In the alert, Met also cautioned people against possible lightning strikes, advising them not to shelter under trees or near grilled windows.

The incident happened at Mutindi stream near Matinyani market on Wednesday night when the double cab pickup van with six occupants fell off a bridge, plunging into the raging waters.