Devastating Landslide Claims Lives of Five in Central Kenya

A digger is shifting earth at the site where search and rescue operations are ongoing for individuals feared to be trapped under a landslide following heavy rainfall in the Matathia region of Kimende Escarpment, situated in Kiambu County, Kenya on May 15, 2024. Reuters photographer Monicah Mwangi is offering to sell licensing rights for this image.

Residents claim that a minimum of five people were carried away by the landslide, spurred by severe rainfall in central Kenya. The Red Cross has pledged to lend a helping hand in the on-going rescue mission.

The devastating incident took place at Kimende Escarpment in Kiambu County, located to the north of the capital city, Nairobi. A post on social media platform X by the Kenya Red Cross disclosed the occurrence late Tuesday, announcing a cautionary warning and cordoning off the area.

Joseph Gitau, a local resident of Kimende, recounted how his relative was engulfed by the landslide along with three other individuals while they were strolling down the road. Sadly, the soil swallowed them up.

A second eyewitness, George Kariuki, mentioned that a motorcyclist was caught in the landslide while his companion managed to flee. The rider was trapped when attempting to turn back.

Since late March, incessant rains and flooding have claimed the lives of a staggering 289 individuals and displaced over 285,600 people in the East African nation. In late April, a horrific mudslide and flash flood in Mai Mahiu town led to the tragic loss of 61 lives.

George Obulutsa from Nairobi has contributed to this report. The piece has been fine-tuned by Sonali Paul and Ros Russell.

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