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At least 32 dead as flash floods sweep through half of Kenya


By Larry Madowo, CNN

Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) — At least 32 people have been killed and two are missing after flash floods swept through almost half of Kenya.

Some 103,500 people in all have been affected.

Kenya has registered heavy rain since mid-March but downpours have intensified over the past week, leading to mass flooding. The Kenyan Red Cross says it has carried out over 188 rescues since the onset in March.

Some roads in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi were closed Wednesday and several neighborhoods remained submerged after another day of heavy rainfall.

“The situation in Nairobi has escalated to extreme levels. The county government for all its efforts is clearly overwhelmed,” wrote city Senator Edwin Sifuna on his X account.

“We need all national emergency services mobilized to save lives.”

He shared a video of residents trapped on the roofs of their houses in an informal settlement in Nairobi.

The Kenya Red Cross Society said it had rescued 18 people in the Mathare 4A neighborhood who had become “stranded due to floodwaters caused by heavy rains last night in Nairobi.”

It added that it was carrying out other “life-saving” operations in other parts of the country.

Two major highways out of Nairobi saw heavy traffic on Wednesday after floodwaters submerged parts of them. The Kenya Urban Roads Authority partially closed four roads that were heavily affected and warned of flooding on two others.

“The traffic police and our technical team are on the ground to direct traffic and enhance the safety of motorists,” it said in a statement.

Kenya Railways suspended commuter train services nationwide.

“We are compelled to take these precautionary measures because the safety of our customers is always of paramount importance to us,” the operator said in a statement.

The Kenya Meteorological Department warned of “heavy to very heavy” rainfall in parts of the country in an update on Wednesday.

“Continued rainfall is anticipated across various parts of the country as indicated in the Wednesday and Thursday rainfall forecast maps,” it said in a statement.

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