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Flash floods kill 32, Kenya Red Cross

11 April 2013, 08:41

Nairobi - At least 32 people were killed and 18,633 others displaced by flash floods caused by heavy rains in Kenya, the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) said on Wednesday.

The KRCS also reported 14 people were injured and six others missing in the floods.

"Several parts of the country, especially the along the Coast and Western Kenya have been affected by flooding following an increased heavy downpour countrywide," the humanitarian agency said in a statementi.

The government has advised people living in flood prone areas to move to higher ground following the heavy rains in many parts of the country.

Widespread destruction of property and infrastructure has also resulted, as well as disruption of key activities such as farming and education.

The most affected regions are in Western Kenya, Coastal region and parts of Rift Valley where heavy rains have washed away bridges and rendered many roads impassable, making difficult efforts to reach thousands of people made homeless by the flooding.

The development comes as meteorological department says depressed and poorly distributed rainfall is expected over most parts of the country during March-May "Long-Rains" season.

According to Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD), this is likely to be more pronounced in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). It said the western and central counties including Nairobi as well as the Coastal strip are likely to experience enhanced rainfall.

"Most of the rainfall in the country is expected during April except over the Coastal strip where the peak is expected during the month of May," KMD said.

The weather experts said rainfall in northwestern and southeastern Kenya is likely to be generally depressed in April and May but slightly enhanced in March.

"Generally enhanced rainfall is expected over the western highlands, Lake Basin, central Rift Valley and the central highlands including Nairobi in March and April. It is, however, expected to be generally depressed in May," it said.

KMD said northeastern parts are likely to experience generally depressed rainfall throughout the season. The southeastern counties are expected to receive depressed rainfall throughout the period.

The rainfall performance along the Coastal Strip is expected to be near normal in March and April but enhanced in May especially along the north coast.

- Xinhau

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