Dam Collapses in Western Kenya, Killing at Least 40

A dam collapsed in western Kenya early Monday, killing at least 40 people after a wall of water swept through houses and cut off a major road, the police said.

The collapse of the Old Kijabe Dam, in the Mai Mahiu area of the Great Rift Valley region that is prone to flash floods, sent water spilling downstream, carrying with it mud, rocks and uprooted trees, a police official, Stephen Kirui, said.

Vehicles were entangled in the debris on the roads, and paramedics treated the injured as waters submerged large areas.

The rains in Kenya have caused flooding that has already killed nearly 100 people and postponed the opening of schools. Heavy rains have been pounding the country since mid-March, and the Meteorology Department has warned of more rainfall.

Kithure Kindiki, the interior minister, ordered the inspection of all public and private dams and water reservoirs within 24 hours starting on Monday afternoon. The ministry said recommendations for evacuations and resettlement would be done after the inspection.

The Kenya National Highways Authority warned motorists to brace for heavy traffic and debris that blocked roads.

The wider East African region is experiencing flooding because of the heavy rains. At least 155 people have reportedly died in Tanzania, and more than 200,000 people have been affected in neighboring Burundi.

A boat capsized in Garissa County, in Kenya, on Sunday night, and the Kenyan Red Cross said that it had rescued 23 people but that more than a dozen people were still missing.

Kenya’s main airport was flooded on Saturday, forcing some flights to be diverted. Videos shared online showed a flooded runway, terminals and cargo section.

More than 200,000 people across the country have been hit by the floods, with houses in flood-prone areas submerged and people seeking refuge in schools.

President William Ruto has instructed the National Youth Service to provide land for use as a temporary camp for those affected.

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