Several missing in central Kenya landslide

Wednesday May 15 2024

An excavator moves soil at the scene of search and rescue operations for people who are feared trapped at the scene of a landslide following heavy rains within Matathia area of Kimende Escarpment, in Kiambu County, Kenya on May 15, 2024. PHOTO | REUTERS


A landslide that followed heavy rain in Central Kenya has swept away at least five people, residents said on Wednesday, with the Red Cross adding that its workers would assist in rescue efforts.

The landslide occurred in Kimende Escarpment in Kiambu County, north of the capital Nairobi, the Kenya Red Cross said in a post on social media platform X late on Tuesday. The victims were said to be walking home when they were caught unawares.

Three people are still feared trapped in a landslide in Kimende Escapement, Kiambu County.

On Wednesday, Kiambu Governor Kimani Wamatangi visited the area as rescue efforts intensified.

The search for the missing is being led by the Kiambu County Emergency Response team together with Kenya Red Cross staff.


Read: Kenya flash floods, landslide kill at least 45

The incident occurred in Lari sub-county.

"Together with the County Disaster Response Team, we have visited the area to assess the situation and assist affected residents as the operation to find the missing continues. We are consulting with the relevant national government road authorities to see if the road design can be improved to avoid such problems in the future," said Governor Wamatangi.

At the same time, the county boss urged people living in landslide-prone areas to move out as humanitarian aid was promised.

"We have asked residents living in areas identified as dangerous and prone to landslides to move to safer places. The county government is offering humanitarian assistance to all those affected by the natural disaster," Governor Wamatangi said.

The heavy rains that have lashed the country have caused wetlands to collapse and the death toll from the ongoing rains is close to 290, according to government statistics.

Read: Kenya floods death toll rises to 210 as heavy rains persist

The Kenya Meteorological Department has warned that the heavy rains are expected to continue in the coming weeks.

Additional reporting by Reuters