At least five missing in landslide in central Kenya

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A landslide that followed heavy rain in central Kenya has swept away at least five people, residents said on Wednesday, and the Red Cross said its workers would assist in rescue efforts.

The landslide occurred in Kimende Escarpment in Kiambu County, north of the capital Nairobi, the Kenya Red Cross said in a post on social media platform X late on Tuesday.

“The area has been cordoned off and declared a danger zone,” it said.

Joseph Gitau, a resident of Kimende, said his cousin was among four people engulfed by the landslide, which happened while they were walking along a road.

“There were four people altogether and three of them were slightly ahead of the other one who was behind. Unfortunately, the soil covered them all,” he told Reuters.

A second witness, George Kariuki, said a motorcycle rider was also hit by the landslide, while his colleague managed to escape.

“The second motorbike wasn’t so lucky because the rider got caught by the landslide as he tried to turn back. I saw that and started screaming for help,” Kariuki said.

Heavy rains and floods in the East African country since late March have killed at least 289 people and displaced 285,600, latest government statistics show.

In the single deadliest incident, at least 61 people were killed in late April in a mudslide and flash floods in the town of Mai Mahiu in central Kenya.