ROAD CUT OFF

Four die in Meru as downpour wreaks havoc

Kenya Red Cross Central and Eastern regions Coordinator Gitonga Mugambi said said the bodies were retrieved and taken to Meru Level 5 Hospital mortuary

In Summary

• Meru county commander Patrick Lumumba told residents to exercise care when crossing flooded rivers, streams, galley, and flooded trenches.

• Lumumba cautioned residents who live around Landslide areas to vacate and move to safe grounds.

Four people died in Meru county on Thursday after they were swept away by flash floods.

Three of the victims had been taking shelter in a church during a downpour and later decided to brave the harsh weather on their way home, wading through floodwaters. They were swept away before they could complete their journey.

County commander Patrick Lumumba said the three, a woman and two men, died in Naari village, Buuri subcounty. Another man drowned in Kienderu in North Imenti. Lumumba said he was suspected to be of unsound mind. He cautioned residents who live in areas that are prone to landslides to relocate to safe grounds.

"I ask residents to exercise care when crossing flooded rivers, streams, galley, and flooded trenches. Those living near rivers must be extra-vigilant, as government, we are monitoring the situation though I'm shocked to learn Meru can experience such dangerous flooding,” Lumumba told the Star.

Kenya Red Cross Central and Eastern regions coordinator Gitonga Mugambi said the four bodies had been retrieved and taken to Meru Level 5 Hospital mortuary. The victims were aged between 20 and 30. 

"I wish to remind our people that the rain is here again. Last night, we lost four people in Meru county in two areas and Naari road cut is off,” he said.

Mugambi said the flood has also left a trail of destruction, including the Naari-Kiirua road. He said an acre of tea bushes was swept away by a landslide in Murang'a county.

On its Twitter account, the Kenya Red Cross Society cited the Kenya Meteorological Department's forecast that the rains will continue to increase in intensity as the season progresses.

"Many parts of the country are likely to receive above-normal rainfall. It will lead to flash floods and seasonal flooding in affected areas, especially in Western, Central, North West, Coast and parts of South West," the agency said.

Last year, more than 20 people were killed and more than 18,000 others displaced.

(Edited by F'Orieny)