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Deadly Floods and Landslides Ravage Kenya, Death Toll Reaches 181

Floods and landslides have wreaked havoc across Kenya, claiming the lives of 181 individuals since March, as reported by both the government and the Red Cross on Wednesday. The catastrophic weather events have compelled hundreds of thousands to flee their homes, exacerbating an already dire situation. Tragically, neighboring Tanzania and Burundi have also experienced significant loss of life due to the deluge.

Torrential rain and subsequent flooding have caused widespread destruction of homes, roads, bridges, and essential infrastructure throughout the region. The death toll in Kenya surpasses that of floods triggered by the El Nino weather phenomenon late last year, underscoring the severity of the current crisis.

In the town of Mai Mahiu, central Kenya, where flash floods claimed at least 48 lives on Monday, search and rescue efforts continue unabated. Kenya Red Cross South Rift Regional Manager Felix Maiyo confirmed the recovery of two bodies from the debris on Wednesday, with military personnel and sniffer dogs aiding in the operation. Government spokesperson Isaac Mwaura announced a grim update, revealing that the death toll had risen to 179.

Last year’s torrential rains followed a devastating drought, compounding the challenges faced by communities across East Africa.

In Kitengela, located 33 km from Nairobi, Red Cross workers are assisting residents stranded by floodwaters, while efforts are underway to rescue tourists trapped in camps in Narok, 215 km from the capital.

The Kenya National Highways Authority has closed sections of highways and multiple roads due to flooding and debris, disrupting transportation across the country.

The disaster has garnered international attention, with Pope Francis expressing solidarity with the people of Kenya during a general audience at the Vatican. Similarly, the White House extended condolences to the victims’ families and affirmed the United States’ commitment to supporting response efforts through the US Agency for International Development. White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre assured that the situation is closely monitored, emphasizing continued support for those affected by the calamity.

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