Kenya Coast Guard deploys personnel to rescue marooned Tana River residents

The Kenya Coast Guard Service KCGS on Saturday deployed personnel for the mass evacuation of residents marooned off Wema in Tana River due to extensive torrential flooding.

Major roads in the area have been declared impassable.

The personnel arrived with boats that they were using in the rescue mission.

KCGS director general Bruno Shioso said they had rescued tens of people and the operation will continue.

“We are working with other agencies to ensure no more lives are lost,” he said.

The Kenya National Highways Authority said Garsen-Witu -Lamu Road is temporarily closed due to flooding.

This follows heavy rainfall which led River Tana to burst its banks and lead to flooding.

“The road is completely submerged in the section from Lango la Simba to Idsowe Bridge in Gamba,” the agency said.

“The Authority appeals to road users in that route to halt their journeys until the water levels subside and an assessment is done to ascertain if the road is passable.”

The rains have caused more than 146 deaths and displaced many in the county.

Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo said Thursday the number of households displaced remains at 92,432 comprising 462,160 persons.

“The government has flown rescue boats from Mombasa to Garissa to assist in evacuation and relief efforts,” he said.

“We continue to urge Wananchi to adhere to weather and flood alerts and take precaution so as not to risk injury or death through driving in flooded roads and crossing bulging rivers.”

He said the National Disaster Operations Centre can be reached on 0202151053 or the Toll-free number 800721571 to report any emergency incidents.

He added they have intensified flood mitigation efforts despite an anticipated decrease in rainfall.

A decrease in rainfall is anticipated in the Northern half of the country this week even as the government continues with its flood mitigation efforts in worst-hit counties and those on high alert.

On Thursday, 10 tonnes of assorted food items were airlifted to Wajir while the military airdropped food items at Chebaso in Isiolo County.

Currently, four counties including Tana River, Garissa, Wajir and Mandera have been identified as the worst hit while 120 people have died.

Ten counties including Isiolo, Samburu, Kwale, Homabay, Makueni, TharakaNithi, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Meru and Kisumu are on high alert.

The Kotulo – Elwak road has been re-opened and 36 trucks that were stuck for the last three weeks have now started moving to and from Wajir and Mandara.

“All major dams are being monitored but Kiambere has a meter remaining to overflow, we call on those downstream to move to higher ground even as the government enhances power generation to mitigate the challenge,” he added.

Source: The Star

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