At least 60 people have been killed in a landslide in West Pokot region following torrential downpours that began on Friday.
By Saturday, dozens of lives were known to be lost in the landslide but the official death toll reached 60 people on Sunday as the search for survivors continues. Authorities have warned the final death toll could still rise before rescue efforts come to a close.
West Pokot governor, John Lonyangapuo, said a mother and her three children were among those found by rescuers sifting through the devastation.
Kenya’s Interior Ministry said that army and police helicopters had been sent to West Pokot for rescue operations.
The Kenya Meteorological Department has warned that more heavy rainfall is expected to to continue pounding different parts of Kenya and urged people to be on high alert for landslides.
Scientists warn that a weather system called the Indian Ocean Dipole is making flooding worse in the area.
Known as the Indian Ocean “El Niño”, it occurs when the western part of the Indian Ocean becomes significantly warmer than the eastern part.
In a statement on Saturday, President Uhuru Kenyatta said:
“My thoughts and prayers, and those of our entire nation are with families, friends and relatives of those who lost their beloved in the unfortunate incident. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.”