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Kenya: 15 dead in floods caused by heavy rains

Kenya: 15 dead in floods caused by heavy rains

At least 15 people were killed in Kenya in floods caused by heavy rains that hit East Africa, cutting off roads, sweeping away dozens of homes and killing livestock, the Kenya Red Cross announced on Monday.

“As of yesterday (Sunday), 15,264 families have been affected, 15 casualties have been reported and at least 1,067 livestock have died,” the Kenya Red Cross wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Rainfall during the October-December rainy season in the Horn of Africa this year is exacerbated by El Niño, a climate phenomenon generally associated with high temperatures and drought in some parts of the world and heavy rains in others.

The local government announced today, Saturday, that the floods left about twenty dead and 12,000 displaced in the Somali region in eastern Ethiopia.

In neighboring Somalia, 14 people have died and nearly 114,000 have been displaced since the beginning of the rainy season, according to the United Nations humanitarian agency (OCHA).

In Kenya, particularly heavy rains hit the arid northern regions.

Pictures broadcast by local media showed torrents of water flowing through villages, prompting residents to flee to higher areas.

Another video clip also showed a civilian helicopter rescuing passengers taking shelter from the roof of a truck stuck in the water in Samburu County, about 300 kilometers north of the capital, Nairobi.

The Kenya Meteorological Service warned last week that heavy rains “are likely to be accompanied by gusty winds” that could “rip off roofs, uproot trees and cause structural damage.”

The Horn of Africa is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change, and extreme weather events are occurring with increasing frequency and intensity.

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Since late 2020, Somalia and parts of Ethiopia and Kenya have been hit by the region’s worst drought in 40 years.

At the end of 2019, at least 265 people died and tens of thousands were displaced during two months of incessant rains in several East African countries (Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda).