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The Prowl

The Student News Site of Coral Glades High School

The Prowl

The Student News Site of Coral Glades High School

The Prowl

Kenya Flood Leave Hundreds of Civilians Dead

Devastating flash floods and weeks of intense rain have plagued Kenya. Overturned cars, uprooted trees, and residences washed away by massive water have all been observed in Mai Mahiu.

The Kenyan Red Cross called the earlier Friday event in Makueni County, southern Kenya, “a distressing incident,” stating that a vehicle carrying passengers “was swept away by raging waters.” 

Since the beginning of the intense rain in March, the Red Cross has saved the lives of almost 300 individuals.

This follows Kenyan President William Ruto’s announcement on Thursday that he had given the go-ahead for emergency personnel to forcefully remove residents on riverbanks and other impacted areas. Ruto stated, “Unfortunately if they don’t agree, we will have to move some of them even though they put themselves in danger.”

To “…provide adequate support to all those in need and to move citizens who are in dangerous areas, that may be susceptible to floods, away from those areas,” the President stated that he is collaborating with multi-agency teams.

Though villagers and first responders have told CNN that the accident was caused by water blowing through a tunnel under a railway bridge with a clogged culvert, Kihika claims that flooding in the area was made worse by a dam break.

CNN saw devastation to one of the Nakuru County floods’ worst-hit regions, which stretched for many kilometers in all directions. A distressed guy told CNN that he thought there were still some of his family members trapped beneath the dirt and rubble.

According to Kihika, a terrible scenario was developing in Mai Mahiu as homes and individuals were washed away by floods.

Kenya has seen a lot of rain since the middle of March, but within the past week, the amount of rain has increased, causing widespread flooding.

In a post on X, IFRC Secretary General and CEO Jagan Chapagain stated, 

“Kenya is facing a worsening flood crisis due to the combined effects of El Niño and the ongoing March-May 2024 long rains,” alluding to the global climate pattern that originates in the Pacific Ocean along the equator.

“Devastating floods and river overflows caused by El Niño since November 2023 have resulted in over a hundred deaths and extensive damage, 

Scientists at the World Weather Attribution (WWA) program conducted a study in December that found that the fatal rains that occurred at the end of last year in the Horn of Africa, killing at least 300 people, were almost twice as strong as they would have been in the absence of climate change.

The recent rains in Kenya may have had an even greater effect since they fell on extremely hard, dry soils following years of devastating drought that destroyed crops and cattle in many areas of the country and resulted in severe hunger and water insecurity. 

An April WWA research indicated that planet-heating pollution from fossil fuels increased the likelihood of this drought by a factor of 100.

“People are much more susceptible to another extreme weather event when they are still in shock from the previous one,” Kimutai.

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Kevin Deas
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