India Abroad

47 Killed In Kenya After Heavy Rain Bursts Indian-Origin Farmer's Dam

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| May 11 , 2018 , 09:53 IST

At least 47 people have been killed and 36 injured as of Friday in central Kenya after weeks of torrential rains in the region resulting in the bursting of a mega dam in a commercial flower farm owned by prominent Indian-origin farmer Mansukul Patel.

The Patel dam, which is used for irrigation and fish farming burst its earthen banks on Wednesday evening in Solai, near the Rift Valley city of Nakuru and the search for survivors continued till Thursday evening. The dam is one of 3 large reservoirs owned by Patel, who was not there during the incident.

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According to local residents, the raging waters wiped out two villages entirely, sweeping away power lines, leaving many without electricity.

General manager of the farm, Vinoj Kumar speaking to Reuters blamed the disaster on massive rainfall in a forest above the dam.

"In the past two days the intensity of the rain was high and the water started coming down carrying boulders and roots which damaged the wall. The dam wall cracked and the water escaped," said Kumar.

The tragedy was made all the more devastating since the dam burst at night when locals were sleeping and could not escape. While much of East Africa suffered from severe drought last year, this year it has been recieving heavy rain over the last two months, displacing hundreds and thousands of people in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Uganda.