A dam burst in a Kenyan town after weeks of heavy rain, causing "huge destruction" and deaths, a government official said on Thursday, while a local television station said 20 bodies had so far been recovered. Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka put the death toll at 32. Officials said the dam water and mud spewed out of the reservoir and submerged homes over a radius of almost 2 kilometers (1.2 miles).
Its walls reportedly caved in because of high volume of water following heavy rains in recent months. "They found his body in the morning", she told Reuters. "All our houses have been ruined". Almost all Kenya's cut flowers are exported to Europe. "There is another dam which is also overflowing which is looking risky", she said.
The burst happened in Solai, Nakuru county, 190 kilometres north-west of the capital, Nairobi, late on Wednesday (local time).
In his turn, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui assured residents that the authorities will do all but impossible in order to "to take affected families to safety and help them get medical attention".
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One primary school had been closed as a precaution, education officials said.
Houses in the area were also swept in the incident at about 9 pm, reports indicating that at least 500 families and 2,500 people were affected. Roads and bridges have been destroyed, causing millions of dollars of damage.
Last week, at least 12 people were killed when a building collapsed during torrential rains in Nairobi.
This comes as weather experts are warning of more heavy rains in the next few days in an unusual departure from traditional weather patterns.