Landslides leave 12 dead

November 8, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, November 8 – At least 12 people were killed in two separate landslide incidents in Central and Rift Valley provinces on Saturday.

The first incident triggered by torrential rains occurred in Central Pokot District where a slump of mud killed 10 children studying in a hut. An adult was also caught up in the early morning incident.

At least 16 other villagers were seriously injured while about 20 families were left homeless following heavy over-night rains in Chepkogoh village, Kesogon Division.

"The rescue operation, led by the district security committee, is currently going on," police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said.

Kenya Red Cross (KRC) Communication Officer Titus Mungou told Capital News that evacuation efforts were in top gear following fears that more tragedy could occur in the area.

Kenya Red Cross Eldoret Regional Office was leading assistance efforts for the affected families in Pokot assisted by the District Commissioner’s office.

"Another 5 families in a far off area from the village are also being evacuated although the rains which are still continuing are hampering the efforts," he said.

Elsewhere, one person was killed by a landslide that also displaced 5 families in Mathioya, Murang’a district.

"Evacuation efforts for neighbouring families to safer grounds are on high gear," Mungou said.

"The incident occurred in Gikoe village and 25 to 30 households are being evacuated."

Monguo said KRC would deliver humanitarian aid to the affected families by the end of the day.

Death toll from floods and mudslides has raised to19 since the short rains started one month ago. According to the meteorological department, the shot rains will end next month.

Local administrators have directed residents in landslide prone areas to immediately relocate to safer grounds.

Sigor MP Wilson Litole appealed to the government to ensure students are not disrupted as they sit for their final examinations next week following the collapse of a bridge in his constituency.

"I’m concerned because of the ongoing KCSE examinations and the KCPE exams that start on Tuesday," he said.

"I’m asking the government to intervene and ensure helicopters are used to distribute examination papers because clearly the area cannot be easily accessed."


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