Flooding Inundates Kenya, Killing at Least 32 and Displacing Thousands



Days of torrential rains have pummeled parts of Kenya, leaving at least 32 dead, 15 injured and more than 40,000 people displaced, according to officials. The flooding has killed nearly 1,000 farm animals and destroyed thousands of acres of crops, with more rain expected across the country in the coming days.

The rains began in March during what is known in the country as the “long rains,” but intensified over the past week, according to the Kenya Meteorological Department.

More than 30,000 people have been displaced in the capital, Nairobi, where some of the heaviest rain has fallen, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. On Tuesday, 18 people there were stranded and later rescued, including seven children, the Kenya Red Cross Society said.

Edwin Sifuna, the Nairobi County senator, said on social media that the local government there was “clearly overwhelmed,” and he called on the federal government for help.

“The situation in Nairobi has escalated to extreme levels,” he wrote in a post that included a video of people stranded on rooftops surrounded by floodwaters.

Kithure Kindiki, cabinet secretary for the Interior Ministry, said in a social media post on Thursday that several government agencies were beginning a joint operation to assist the victims, conduct rescues and evacuate those who remain at risk.

The heavy rains on Wednesday forced Kenya Railways to suspend commuter train services. The Kenya Urban Roads Authority also partially closed four major roads in Nairobi and warned of heavy flooding along several major highways in the capital and in the coastal city of Mombasa.

The rains were not expected to subside over the next few days, according to the Kenya Meteorological Department, which had rain in the forecast for parts of the country, including Nairobi, through Monday. The agency also warned of a high likelihood of breakouts of diseases such as malaria and diarrhea in some areas.

The latest downpours come just months after torrential rains and floods killed dozens of people and displaced thousands more nationwide.

Here are photographs of the flooding:

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