At least 20 people killed after dam bursts in Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya (CNN)At least 20 people have died and 41 have been injured after a dam burst in northern Kenya, according to the Red Cross.
The Kenya Red Cross estimated that up to 500 families have been hit by the disaster, which took place in Solai, a town near the Rift Valley city of Nakuru, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) northwest of the capital of Nairobi.
The Patel Dam bursts its banks after heavy rains at around 9 p.m. Wednesday, sweeping away homes, according to Lee Kinyanjui, the governor of Nakuru County.
“The water has caused the huge destruction of both life and property. The extent of the damage is yet to be ascertained,” Kinyanjui posted on Twitter.
He said Nakuru County was working with the Kenya Red Cross in a search and rescue operation.
Kinyanjui said foodstuff and other items have been donated to displaced families and a center set up for families to report missing members.
Euloge Ishimwe, head of communications for the Africa region of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said in a statement, “A multi-agency search and rescue is ongoing where Kenya Red Cross is part of the team.
“The Kenya Red Cross is further moving materials to construct a temporary shelter for the displaced families alongside providing first aid services, evacuation of the injured, tracing services for families and psychosocial support.”
Heavy rainfall and floods have hit East Africa in recent months, especially in Kenya and Rwanda.
At least 100 people have died and nearly 260,000 have been displaced this month by flooding in Kenya, the Kenya Red Cross said.
Kenyan authorities and humanitarian organizations have airlifted stranded residents to safety and provided aid to isolated communities after weeks of heavy rain and landslides.
Volunteers search for survivors Thursday after the Patel Dam bursts in Solai in northern Kenya.