Kenya warns of potential dam spill, orders flood evacuations

The Kenyan government has ordered people living near 178 dams and reservoirs to evacuate as heavy rains continue.

The Interior Ministry warned that the waters were “already full or approaching full and could overflow at any time, posing a high risk to people living nearby.”

Residents living nearby and within 30 meters (98 feet) of the Nairobi River wetland were given 24-hour permission to leave from 18:30 local time on Thursday.

Recent heavy rains have caused severe flooding and landslides across Kenya and Tanzania.

Some 188 people have died in Kenya since March, and another 90 are missing, according to the latest official estimates. A further 155 people died in Tanzania and 29 people died in Burundi.

At least 50 people are believed to have died in the accident. Landslide hits Kenyan village near Mai Mahiu while they were sleeping. Floods also influenced the capitalNairobi.

Officials expect the situation to worsen with more extreme weather in the coming days.

President William Ruto is expected to address the nation soon and provide further details.

“Importantly, coastal areas may be hit by Cyclone Hidaya, which could cause heavy rains, large waves and strong winds, impacting maritime activities in the Indian Ocean,” the President’s Office announced on Thursday. did.

The Kenya Meteorological Department said Nairobi was expected to be one of the worst-hit areas by the storm, but the cyclone would not directly hit Kenya.

“The situation could become dire as the soil across the country is completely saturated with water,” the Interior Ministry said.

A Kenyan firefighter guides people through a road badly damaged by flooding caused by heavy rains in Kitengela, Kenya.

Floods expected to worsen as cyclone brings heavy rain to already saturated soils [Getty Images]

The ministry added that it would set up temporary shelter, food and essential supplies for evacuees and set them up at gathering points.

The evacuation also included areas near the Nairobi and Titanic dams. The Ministry of Home Affairs announced that buildings within the Nairobi River Wetlands area will be demolished.

It is unclear how many people will be affected by the evacuation order.

The Kenyan government has faced criticism for the speed of its response to ongoing natural disasters.

President Ruto said the government would procure land for those forced to flee their homes, but some were stranded after their homes were swept away.

The government has not yet announced details such as evacuation plans and how residents will be notified.

Ruto defended his government. told the BBC “A whole-of-government approach is underway,” he said Monday.

After Thursday’s Cabinet meeting, Ruto’s office said flood victims were “increasingly receiving food and non-food aid” and blamed climate change for extreme weather conditions.

”[The] The Cabinet resolved that the Government will now mobilize the country to implement measures, programs and policies to mitigate the effects of climate change.”

One of the biggest causes of rain is the Indian Ocean Dipole. This is a region where warm and cold surface water oppose each other, and is often called the “Indo Niño” due to its similarity. El Niño in the Pacific Ocean.

As surface temperatures rise due to climate change, more moisture and energy are pushed into the atmosphere, making weather patterns more erratic and severe.

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