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Africa

Death toll from Kenya’s floods rise

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Rescuers on Tuesday continued to recover victims’ bodies as the number of missing across Kenya in flooding and landslides caused by heavy rains rose steadily.

In Maai Mahiu in central Kenya, at least 48 have been killed and dozens remain missing after a mudslide and flash floods hit the town early on Monday, the Kenya Red Cross said.

The water swept away cars, railway tracks and houses.

Mary Mwangi’s family were overwhelmed. “My last born daughter who was holding onto my back while we were in the water was begging me not to leave her. I reassured her and asked her to hold onto the nearby floating debris. Unfortunately, she is gone now. My eldest daughter is in hospital at Maai Mahiu, but the rest…”

At least 169 people have died across Kenya since last month due to heavy rains and flooding.

Over 190 000 people have been forced from their homes, including 147 000 in the capital Nairobi, according to the president’s office.

Kenya’s President William Ruto told citizens living in landslide prone areas to leave or risk losing their lives.

More heavy rainfall in several parts of the country is expected in the coming days, the president’s office said.

At least 120 people were killed in Kenya last year by flooding caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon.

It was followed by the worst drought large parts of East Africa had seen in decades.

In neighbouring Tanzania and Burundi, dozens more people have also been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced by heavy downpours.

Scientists say climate change is causing more intense and frequent extreme weather events.

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