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Thursday
May102018

Burst Kenyan dam kills dozens, displaces hundreds 

iStock/Thinkstock(SOLAI, Kenya) -- Heavy rain caused a dam to burst near the Kenyan town of Solai, killing dozens of people and displacing hundreds, authorities said.

The walls of the Patel dam ruptured Wednesday evening as unsuspecting residents were having meals nearby. The International Federation of the Red Cross’ team on the ground counted 26 dead bodies.

“The number is likely to go up because some people are still stuck in the debris, in the mud,” Euloge Ishimwe of the International Federation of the Red Cross in Nairobi told ABC News.

About 500 people have been displaced, he said.

“We heard from colleagues on the ground that they are worried that two other dams in the area could also burst,” Ishimwe added. “It’s a very scary situation right now because the rain is still ongoing.”

Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka tweeted an image of the destruction in the Solai area, about 120 miles from the capital, Nairobi.

Even before the breach, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said floods had displaced more than 270,000 people in the East African country, and the number is expected to rise to 280,000 by the end of the week as more heavy rain is expected.

Kenya has seen weeks of heavy rain after a severe drought.

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