Four people have been killed and 28 others are missing following heavy rains and subsequent mudslides that tore through villages in Kenya’s northwestern county of West Pokot on Saturday night, a government official confirmed on Sunday.
Cyrus Oguna, government spokesman, said authorities have stepped up rescue efforts despite being hampered by bad weather to help find 28 missing persons following the incident which also destroyed property in the area.
“Bad weather has hampered rescue and recovery operations. Nevertheless, two command centers have since been established to coordinate search and rescue efforts,” Oguna said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
He said some 493 households have been confirmed as displaced, noting that the Kenya Air Force will shortly begin delivering food and other essentials to the affected residents.
Oguna said five police officers and two civilians have already been airlifted to the hospital for specialized medical care, while 13 other civilians have also been treated and discharged from local health facilities.
The mudslides that swept through Chesegon area left what used to be a busy shopping center empty, now only characterized by debris and rocks.
A police officer is among the missing persons, with bullet vests being collected at the place where a police station is believed to have been.
The government had advised those residing in areas threatened by flooding and landslide to move to safer grounds until the situation normalizes.