Six dead as heavy rains leave trail of devastation

PD Team @PeopleDailyKe

Torrential rains pounded many parts of the country yesterday, causing flash floods and water-logging that left at least six people dead and many marooned amid a trail of destruction.

The downpour, which started at dawn in most parts of the country, rendered many roads impassable, swept cars off roads and left houses, even in upmarket suburbs, sub-merged. The deluge had been forecast by the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) last week, but the intensity with which the rain fell caught many Kenyans unprepared.

Trees were uprooted and fell across roads cutting off traffic. In other areas, collapse of buildings under construction was reported. Thousands of Kenyans failed to report to work as the heavy rains affected public transport.

And by last evening, Mombasa Road was closed at Mto Ya Mawe, Athi River area, after the Athi River burst its banks and water flooded the highway. A large section of the Green Park Estate was submerged amid fears that some people may have been swept away. Machakos governor Alfred Mutua mobilised a rescue operation that evacuated about 50 people from affected homes.

Travellers to Mombasa and Machakos were advised to either postpone their trips or use Kangundo-Komarock road to Machakos, then to Malili or Machakos Road to Kyumvi. In Kitui county, four people were feared dead after they were swept away by swollen Enziu River in Mwingi East sub-county yesterday morning.

The four were on their way to Nairobi ferrying charcoal in a lorry from Yatwa area of Nuu Division when it was swept away by raging floods. Imba location chief, John Wambua confirmed the incident.

“They jumped and hung on top of the lorry to save their lives but it was too late since the truck had already been overpowered by the floods,” he said. KMD directot Peter Ambenje said heavy rains are expected to continue in most parts of the country.

The department warned that the downpours could cause devastating effects in more parts of the country. In Kajiado county, it was reported that at least two people died following yesterday’s heavy rains.

County Commissioner David Kipkemei confirmed the incident. He said a pupil in Kiserian died when she was swept away by floods while crossing a stream. A man’s body was also found in Enkirgirri River at midday, he said. He was speaking at Isinya River which burst it banks, damaging the only bridge connecting Athi River and Tanzania at the Namanga border town.

The Kenya National Highways Authority, assured Kenyans that it will give the necessary support. In Nairobi, traffic flow was the first to be affected during the morning rush hours.

Floodwaters filled major streets and avenues in the city, with some commuters wading through it as they alighted from matatus. Moi Avenue, Tom Mboya Street, Racecourse Road, Ronald Ngala Street, Haile Selassie Avenue, Temple Road, Kimathi Street among others were flooded.

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