At least 40 people were killed when a dam in Kenya’s Rift Valley burst late Wednesday following days of heavy rains.
Water swept away numerous homes, farms, and businesses after breaking through the Patel Dam in Solai, about 180 kilometers northwest of Nairobi.
A witness, Ian Ndegwa, told VOA’s Swahili service casualties may be higher than reported. “There are a lot of people still unaccounted for,” he said.
He added that police, soldiers, and construction crews are in the area, helping to clear roads and look for missing people.
Ndegwa said he thinks the dam could not handle the recent rains.
“The embankments were not strong enough, so it broke and we have a big gap in the wall that allowed the water to flow through,” he said.
The Rift Valley has seen heavy rains during the past two months, causing floods and mudslides that had already killed more than 130 people.
The Kenyan government said Wednesday the rains had displaced 220,000 people.