No fewer than 15 people have reportedly died in Kenya as floods swept away scores of houses and devastated farmland following torrential rains, Kenya Red Cross said on Monday.
It was gathered that heavy rainfall has pounded the country, particularly the bone-dry north, in recent days, and sent water gushing into homes and submerging roads, with similar scenes playing out across other parts of East Africa.
“As of yesterday, 15,264 households have been affected, with 15 casualties reported”, thee Kenya Red Cross said on X, formerly Twitter.
“More than 1,000 livestock have died while at least 240 acres of agricultural farmland have been destroyed”, it added.
The UN’s humanitarian agency said last month that eastern Africa would likely encounter heavier than normal rains over the October-December period because of the El Nino phenomenon.
Kenya’s Meteorological Department also warned last week that the heavy rains were “likely to be accompanied by gusty winds”.
“The strong winds may blow off roofs, uproot trees and cause structural damages”, it said in an advisory.
Images broadcast on local media have shown flood waters inundating entire villages and sending residents fleeing for higher ground.
Dramatic footage showed a civilian chopper rescuing people from a lorry marooned in Samburu county, some 300 kilometres north of the capital Nairobi.
El Nino is a naturally occurring weather pattern associated with increased heat worldwide, as well as drought in some parts of the world and heavy rains elsewhere.
Since the start of the current rainy season, more than 20 people have died and over 12,000 others have been forced out of their homes in Ethiopia’s Somali region due to flash flooding, the regional government said.