Kenya: Dam Burst Leaves More Than 40 People Dead

A dam burst has left more than 40 people dead and many others injured. The burst happened on Wednesday in the town of Solai. Authorities believe the heavy rains in the area caused the dam to burst.

Emergency teams have launched a search and rescue operation and they believe the death toll could rise in the next few hours. The Kenyan Red Cross recently said that it had rescued about 40 people.

One police officer told the AFP that eleven bodies had been found. He said that it seemed like they had been fleeing but that they could not make it due to the speed and force of the water.

Hundreds of Homes Destroyed

The area had seen heavy rains recently and that is what authorities believe caused the rupture on the dam. The burst of the Patel Dam swept away hundreds of homes and everything in its path.

One school in the area was swept away while another was left with serious damages after it flooded. The water left parts of the town without electricity as it knocked down power lines.

Witnesses said they heard a loud sound before the water swept through parts of the town. The water swept through more than one mile of the town. Lee Kinyajui, governor of the county, said that the water has caused destruction of both life and property.

Emergency teams continue the search and rescue operation as many homes were destroyed by the water. Earlier today, emergency teams began shoveling and moving rubble to find survivors and victims. Reuters recently reported that the bodies of two women had been found far away from the area.

Search and Rescue Operations

The search and rescue operation has been slowed down by the heavy rains, which have been frequent in recent months. One witness told Reuters that she was at home making some tea when her sons entered to alert them about the burst. The witness said her neighbor was killed when the water broke through the wall of his house. She added that his body was found in the morning and that her other neighbors also died. Videos taken minutes after the disaster showed residents carrying survivors to ambulances and to safety.

Reports say the dam that ruptured is owned by a farmer and that authorities have launched an investigation to find out if he was given permission to set it up.