Kenya floods death toll rises to 210 as heavy rains persist

During rescue efforts, the police recovered 16 bodies on Thursday. The meteorological department has forecasted heavy to very heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in over 33 counties, including the capital Nairobi, from Friday through Sunday.

Despite sunny periods along the coast, Tropical Cyclone Hidaya, originating from the South Indian Ocean, is anticipated to bring powerful winds and substantial ocean waves, accompanied by heavy rainfall starting Sunday.

The ministry has initiated mandatory evacuations along rivers in Nairobi County, with the government providing logistical support, temporary shelters, and essential supplies to affected individuals.

“Flooding is anticipated in low-lying, riparian, and urban areas, while areas with steep slopes, escarpments, and ravines may experience landslides/mudslides,” the ministry cautioned.

Reports from the Kenya Red Cross Society indicate instances of landslides and mudslides in central Kenya affecting families, including young children.

In a coordinated effort involving ground and aerial units, authorities successfully rescued 90 tourists stranded in the renowned Maasai Mara National Reserve after a river overflowed on Wednesday due to heavy rainfall.

The ministry disclosed that a total of 115 camps have been established across 19 counties, providing refuge for 27,586 individuals.

These devastating floods are exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the country, coinciding with the aftermath of the El NiƱo floods in late 2023, which claimed the lives of at least 178 individuals, injured 242, and displaced thousands.