Dozens Dead After Dam Bursts amid Ongoing Heavy Rain: 'Devastating'

About 50 people are believed to have died after a dam burst in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley on April 29

<p>AP Photo</p> People gathering after a dam burst in Kenya

AP Photo

People gathering after a dam burst in Kenya

Dozens of people are dead after a dam in Kenya burst following weeks of heavy rain and flooding.

The Old Kijabe Dam, located in the Great Rift Valley region, broke its banks early in the morning on Monday, April 29, sending water and debris gushing downstream, according to the Associated Press and The Guardian.

About 50 people have been found dead, and the death toll is expected to rise, the BBC reported, adding that many people are still being pulled from the mud.

<p>AP Photo</p> People gathering after a dam burst in Kenya

AP Photo

People gathering after a dam burst in Kenya

"This is the worst I've ever come across in my career," Anthony Muchiri, an emergency response manager with the Kenya Red Cross, told the outlet.

Peter Muhoho, who lives in the village of Kianugu, said most of his neighbors were swept away by the floodwaters. “I was asleep when I heard a loud bang and screams,” he told the BBC. “Water had flooded the area.”

<p>AP Photo</p> People clean up after a dam burst in Kenya

AP Photo

People clean up after a dam burst in Kenya

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David Kamau, who was born in Mai Mahiu, said floodwaters also “washed away many houses and vehicles” in the area. “We have never seen such devastating floods since we were born here,” he told the outlet.

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Kithure Kindiki, Kenya’s interior minister, said in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) that the government has ordered the inspection of “all public and private dams and water reservoirs” within 24 hours, effective at 2 p.m. local time.

The minister also asked security and intelligence officials to “recommend cases where compulsory evacuation and temporary resettlement orders” should be issued.

“The Government is deeply concerned by the loss of life and destruction of public and private property resulting from the ongoing floods,” Kindiki wrote.

<p>AP Photo/Patrick Ngugi</p> Damage after the dam burst

AP Photo/Patrick Ngugi

Damage after the dam burst

Nearly 100 people have died in the last month in parts of Kenya devastated by flooding, according to the BBC.

The same areas of the country being impacted by the deadly floods have recently been “recovering from the worst drought in 40 years,” according to the IFRC’s website.

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The flood crisis in Kenya is worsening “due to the combined effects of El Niño” and the immense amount of rain that has fallen in the region since March, said Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General and CEO of the International Federation of Red Cross, in a post on X.

El Niño has “triggered devastating floods and river overflows” since November, “causing more than a hundred deaths and widespread damage,” Chapagain added.

An Indian Ocean Dipole, which is similar to El Niño, is also helping trigger immense amounts of rainfall, according to the BBC.

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