23 October 2018

Kenya: Meteorologists Warn of Looming Storm Surge in Five Coastal Counties

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Photo: The Star
A young boy tries to find his way through the rain waters after heavy downpour in Mombasa (file photo).

Nairobi — The Kenya Meteorological Department is forecasting heavy rainfall in five of the six coastal counties starting Wednesday.

The intensity of the rains in Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu is expected to exceed 40mm by Thursday with projected incidences of strong winds and large waves according to an advisory whose certainty was classified as "moderate probability" with a 33 to 66 per cent chance of occurrence.

The meteorological department said Tuesday, rainfall intensity in the five counties will reduce to about 30mm by Friday.

Residents in the affected counties have been advised to be on the lookout for flash-floods and avoid driving or walking through fast-moving waters.

Fishermen have also been put on high alert with the heavy rains expected to trigger strong winds off the shores of the Indian Ocean with a resultant storm surge.

The weatherman has notified the Executive Office of the President on the impending danger.

The Kenya Red Cross, respective county governments, and the National Disaster Operations Centre have also been alerted.

In May 2016, Mombasa and Kwale suffered devastating floods which left over a dozen people dead with several other injured.

In November 2017, a woman died after a tree fell on her in Mombasa near Mbaraki in what was attributed to heavy rains and poor drainage in the coastal city.

The county blamed haphazard construction of buildings, clogged drainage and substandard work by some road contractors as the main cause of floods at the time.

Roads in Nairobi have also been rendered impassible in the recent past with poor drainage leading to an influx of floodwaters.

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