At least 45 dead including 17 children as dam bursts in Kenya sweeping away houses in thick mud after weeks of storms

AT LEAST 45 people have died including 17 children after a dam burst open in Kenya amid torrential rains and floods.

The disaster took place last night in Nakuru village, sending water gushing down a hill that swept away everything on its path.

APParamedics were seen carrying an injured woman after a dam burst in Nakuru[/caption]

APPeople were seen gathering at the main road after the dam burst swept away everything[/caption]

APThe deluge was so powerful unit uprooted trees and sent cars flying[/caption]

APChildren fleeing floodwaters that wreaked havoc at the border of Tana River in Kenya[/caption]

The deluge cut off the main road of the town, uprooted trees, washed away homes and sent vehicles flying.

While at least 45 people are confirmed to be dead in the devastating incident, cops warned the number could increase as rescue operators are still searching for survivors.

A senior official at Nakuru County police headquarters said: “Forty-five bodies have been recovered from that dam tragedy as of now, and the team on the ground is overwhelmed but the search is still ongoing.”

Susan Kihika, the governor of Nakuru, added: “It’s a conservative estimate. There are still more in the mud, we are working on recovery.”

Rescuers are now digging through the debris, using hoes and in some cases just their bare hands in a desperate search for survivors.

Stephen Njihia Njoroge, a local resident involved in the emergency efforts, said 12 people had been pulled to safety since the incident took place.

But for many, it was too late.

“We collected some of the bodies held by trees and we don’t know how many are under the mud,” he said.

Schools have been forced to remain shut following mid-term holidays, after the education ministry announced Monday it would postpone their reopening to May 6 due to “ongoing heavy rains”.

Education minister Ezekiel Machogu said: “The devastating effects of the rains in some of the schools is so severe that it will be imprudent to risk the lives of learners and staff before water-tight measures are put in place to ensure adequate safety.”

Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki said the government had directed security and intelligence officials to “inspect all public and private dams and water reservoirs within 24 hours”.

He urged people not to engage in “risky behaviour”, and asked people not to ferry “passengers across flooded rivers or storm water by unsafe canoes or boats”.

His comments came after a boat packed with people capsized at the weekend in flooded Tana River county killing two people.

Video footage shared online and on television showed the crowded boat sinking, with people screaming as onlookers watched in horror.

More than 120 people have died and over 130,000 displaced after weeks of storm and torrential downpour battered Kenya.

The monsoons have also wreaked havoc in neighbouring Tanzania, where at least 155 people have been killed in flooding and landslides.

In Burundi, one of the world’s poorest countries, around 96,000 people have been displaced by months of relentless rains, the United Nations and the government said earlier this month.

Uganda has also suffered heavy storms that have caused riverbanks to burst, with two deaths confirmed and several hundred villagers displaced.

APPicture of a bus that was swept away after the dam burst[/caption]

ReutersA man trying to cross a river using stick after flash floods battered the country[/caption]

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