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20 dead, hundreds displaced as Patel Dam 'bursts' in Nakuru

20 dead, hundreds displaced as Patel Dam 'bursts' in Nakuru

The dam gave way in Solai, in Nakuru county, 190 kilometres northwest of Nairobi, late on Wednesday.

Mr Kinyajui said: "The water has caused huge destruction of both life and property".

In a statement to newsrooms, area Governor Lee Kinyanjui said 15 ambulances have been dispatched to the scene to evacuate victims.

The Kenyan Red Cross says it has rescued some 40 people so far, while residents say many more people can not be accounted for. Police chief Joseph Kioko said, "We have recovered... bodies and many people are missing".

The St. John Ambulance service said at least 21 people had been killed downstream of the dam.

The Wednesday night incident occurred at around 9 o'clock in the evening when Patel Dam broke its banks sweeping villages in the Solai area of Subukia.

The local people are now concerned about the condition of the other two dams, which are also reportedly full.

After a severe drought, weeks of torrential rains in Kenya have led to flooding and mudslides that have left 159 dead. Local leaders are now investigating whether the farmer had a licence to erect the dams.

He said the county government will donate foodstuffs and other items to the displaced families on Thursday.

A billion Kenyan shillings is worth roughly £7.3million.

Its walls reportedly caved in because of high volume of water following heavy rains in recent months. Military helicopters have been deployed to assist with relief efforts. The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has so far recorded 2,942 cases of the virus, with 55 deaths.