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Kenya Dam Collapse: At least 49 Killed, Search for Survivors Underway

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A search and rescue operation is under way in Kenya after a deadly dam collapse, which killed at least 49 people with many more still missing.


Water burst through the banks of the Patel Dam in Kenya's Rift Valley, about 150km north of the capital Nairobi, on Wednesday night, washing away almost an entire village.

With the death toll expected to rise, according to officials, rescuers continued their search for survivors until Thursday night.

"The area of search is a long stretch from the dam area downstream," Pius Masaai, spokesman for the National Disaster Unit, said.

"We are also looking for the families of those missing and we have opened a tracing desk."

According to Kenya's Red Cross, which along with the Nakura County disaster management teams rescued 41 people from under the mud on Thursday, close to 500 families have been displaced from the disaster in Solai town and the expansive Nyakinyua Farm.

"These families will need long-term assistance by both government and other humanitarian players," said Abbas Gullet, Secretary-General of the Kenya Red Cross, in a statement.

Victims and survivors came back to assess the extent of the damage to their homes and search for relatives.

Meanwhile, the dam's main purpose was to irrigate a large flower farm.

After the disaster on Wednesday, other dams in the region became under assessment.

Heavy seasonal rains and flooding since March have led to the deaths of 158 people with 80 injuries recorded countrywide, the Red Cross said.

The floods to date have left more than 225,000 displaced, according to the government. 

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team