May 10 (UPI) — Nearly three dozen people were killed in Kenya when a dam broke after weeks of heavy rains, authorities said Thursday.
At least 32 people have died and many others are missing. Search efforts resumed after daybreak Thursday as officials hope to find the dozens missing and feared trapped in the mud and debris after collapse of the dam in Subukia late Wednesday.
Officials said floodwaters swept away power lines, homes, buildings and a school. At least 39 people were rescued, the Red Cross said.
Some residents said they heard an explosion before the dam collapsed and water swept away hundreds of homes, affecting more than 300 families.
About 200 Kenyan soldiers were called in to help with search and rescue efforts.
The dam was one of three owned by an irrigation farmer who was not in the area when it broke. Authorities are trying to learn if the farmer was licensed to build the dams, and are now concerned about the conditions of the other two.
Heavy rains have fallen in Kenya for about a month, causing flooding that’s already killed at least 100 people and displaced 260,000. The floods have also contaminated water sources and destroyed health centers, homes, crops, irrigation systems, farm equipment, roads and train lines.