Landslides leave trail of destruction in Murang’a

More landslides have been reported in Murang’a following heavy rains that pounded the area in the past two days.  Eleven incidents were reported in parts of Kiruri, Karurumo, Kayu, Gitugu, Ichichi, Kihoya and Wanjerere in upper Kangema where huge chunks of tea plantations were destroyed.

Tens of families have since been located to safer places as the National government, through the provincial administration and the Kenya Red Cross, supplied them with food and other necessities.

Sections of many roads were also rendered impassable as chunks of soil blocked them. The area is said to have received heavy rainfall overnight with the highest recorded in Iyego at 151 millilitres.

In Gitugu, huge cracks running 10 metres deep into the ground have appeared in some parts of the area and several houses have also been affected. County meteorological officer Paul Murage warned that the situation might get worse as more rains are expected in the area.

He said the loose soil and steep topography are the major contributing factors to the menace.“The soil is so much saturated and it can’t hold more water and thus the landslides,” he said.

Those living on the lower areas have also been cautioned to move to safer grounds as most of the rivers are full and likely to burst their banks.

Area County Commissioner John Elungata said the disaster management team is on the lookout for any incident likely to occur.

He, however, said no casualties have been reported following the incidents but cautioned residents to keep off areas which have been marked as dangerous.

“We are doing massive sensitisation to the people in the affected areas because we want them to stay safe,” he said. Out of the seven constituencies in Murang’a, only Maragua has been declared safe from landslides.

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