Two people killed, five injured as cyclone IALY hits Coast

Four pupils are admitted in hospital after the roof of their school was blown off.

In Summary
  • Four other pupils were admitted with various head injuries, police said.
  • They were aged five, two and two are aged four years.
The blown off roof of a residential house in the Majajani area of Kilifi county on May 21, 2024.
The blown off roof of a residential house in the Majajani area of Kilifi county on May 21, 2024.

At least two people were killed as strong winds from Tropical Cyclone IALY hit various parts of the Kenyan coast on Tuesday.

The victims include a pupil aged four years, police said.

Coast police boss George Sedah said property was destroyed in the chaos that followed as the winds swept through the region.

“We have sent teams to check in villages and report back on the veracity of the tragedy,” he said.

The pupil aged four was killed after the strong winds hit Gogoraruhe Mosque ECD School at about 4 pm destroying the roof.

The incident happened in the Mbalamweni sub-location in the Kayafungo location, Kaloleni.

Police who responded to the scene said five pupils were rushed to Mariakani Sub County Hospital where one female pupil succumbed to her injuries.

Four other pupils were admitted with various head injuries, police said.

They were aged five, two and two of them are aged four years.

In the neighbouring Rabai’s Mwele area, the winds blew away the roof of a godown.

The chaos left two employees at the Salima Gases Kenya Limited seriously, police said.

They were rushed to the hospital where one Elvis Wasi Changawa, 32 succumbed to his injuries.

This was after they were hit by falling stones. The other injured victim was referred to a hospital in Mombasa, officials said.

At the Kilifi North Sub County offices, the parking lot roof was blown off by strong winds.

Two Ford Ranger cars that were parked there were damaged, police said.

In Mombasa, the roof of a structure at the Mbaraki Girls Comprehensive School was blown off by the winds.

No injuries were reported, officials said.

Authorities said they were visiting villages in the region on Wednesday to assess the damages caused.

Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) said on Tuesday the extreme winds blew off roofs of residential areas and toppled electric poles in some areas.

The charity said the winds caused destruction in Casuarina, Olimpia, Madunguni of Malindi County, and those located in Garashi of Kilifi County, leading to a major blackout.

The Kenya Meteorological Department warned of potential destruction to marine activities caused by Tropical Cyclone Ialy.

A tropical cyclone is generally deemed to have formed once mean surface winds in excess of 35 knots (65 km/h) are observed.

In a marine update issued Tuesday evening, director David Gikungu said the new development marks a historic event in the South–West Indian Ocean and the intense system is forecast to cause adverse weather conditions at the coast.

He said the tropical cyclone was positioned notably northwest 5°S/45°E, noting that tropical cyclones within 5°S/5°N are very rare.

The weatherman said strong southerly winds at 10-30 knots were expected over Kenya and Tanzania waters with waves of 1.5 to 3.6 meters expected along the Kenya coast resulting in moderate to rough sea conditions.

Gikungu said small boats and crafts are advised to avoid deep-sea areas throughout the forecast period.

"Ialy is expected to weaken starting Tuesday evening and into the night, ultimately dissipating by Wednesday, while remaining offshore despite passing within 150km of the Kenyan coast."

He said the sea will remain breezy in the afternoons characterised by rough waves during the forecast period due to moderately strong southerly winds of 10-23 knots.

"Wave heights from the southeast are expected to decrease to 4-8ft with shorter periods of 9 seconds. Visibility is predicted to be moderate ranging from 9 to 10km in Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi and Lamu," Gikungu said.

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