Torrential rains in western Kenya since Friday have killed 52 people, including landslides, according to a new report released Monday to the press by West Pokot County Governor John Lonyangapuo.
« The confirmed death toll is now 52, » said John Lonyangapuo, governor of the border county of Uganda, about 350 km northwest of Nairobi.
He added that bridges had been washed away, making access to relief in some areas difficult.
A previous report established this weekend from official sources reported 29 victims in this region.
Army and police helicopters have been sent to facilitate aid, Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i said on Saturday.
The Kenyan Red Cross has reported « massive landslides » in this area, adding that they have deployed teams there. On his twitter account, the organization published photos of its volunteers evacuating victims in boats.
Kenya is not the only country affected by the floods in East Africa.
In neighboring Tanzania, at least ten people drowned in the night from Friday to Saturday, carried away by a flooded river in the far west of the country, in the district of Mwanza.
The rains have also displaced tens of thousands of people in Somalia, flooded entire cities in South Sudan, and have killed several people in Ethiopia since early October.
Floods are a regular phenomenon in the region but scientists say a climate phenomenon centered on the Indian Ocean, a power never seen for years, has caused in recent weeks devastating rains.
Currently, the waters around East Africa are warmer than normal at this time of the year, causing increased evaporation, as humid air flowing to the mainland is turned into rain.