Rain Forces Dam In Kenya To Burst Killing 20 People

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Kenyan officials says a dam has burst its banks in the country's rift valley, forcing hundreds of people to shift from their homes.

The walls of the Patel dam, situated on a flower farm on top of a hill in Nakuru county, 190 km (120 miles) northwest of Nairobi, gave way late on Wednesday as nearby residents were sitting down to evening meals.

"Locals at Solai shopping centre talk of a huge explosion" before seeing a cloud of water move their way.

"First responders have been on the ground; we commend them for the work they are doing", Esipisu said, adding relevant authorities will issue a comprehensive statement once they have full details.

Private television station KTN News said that 20 bodies had been recovered from the scene so far.

At least twenty people have been killed when Patel Dam burst overnight flooding villages in the Subukia area of Nakuru County.

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The full extent of the damage isn't known yet.

The toll, the highest in a single flood-related incident now brings to 152 the number of people who have died countrywide as a result of floods since heavy rains started in March.

The dam is one of the three water reservoirs owned by a large-scale irrigation farmer, in the area.

Mr Kinyanjui said they were doing their best to evacuate affected families to safety and assist victims get medical attention.

Floodwaters swept away powerlines, homes and buildings, including a primary school, a Reuters photographer on the scene said, as rescue workers picked through rubble and mud searching for survivors.

A desk has been set up to make reports on missing family members.

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