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Kenya Met urges caution as it issues alert for heavy rain

The meteorological department has asked Kenyans to exercise caution in light of the heavy rains lashing the country and issued a heavy rain warning for the period ending May 6.

Director-General David Gikungu said rainfall of more than 40mm is expected in the next 24 hours in several parts of the country until Sunday.

He said the severity of the rainfall is high, with a probability of occurrence of 33 to 66 percent in the forecast areas.

These are Nairobi, the Lake Victoria basin, the Rift Valley and the southeastern lowlands.

The affected counties include Nandi, Kericho, Bomet, Kakamega, Homa Bay, Siaya, Machakos, Murang’a, Kiambu, Meru, Uasin Gishu and Narok, Baringo, Wajir, Garissa, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Busia, Kisii, Nyamira. , Western Pokot, Nyeri, KIrinyaga and Kajiado.

“Stay alert and pay attention to weather alerts in your area,” Gikungu said.

“Residents in all areas mentioned are advised to be aware of possible flooding, flash flooding and poor visibility. “Water levels in rivers and lakes are expected to remain high.”

Heavy rain, he said, is expected to extend to northern parts of Kenya from May 3 to 5.

It said the rain will be accompanied by strong southerly winds of more than 30 knots (15.4 m/s) over the coastal region and parts of northeastern Kenya on May 2, 2024.

Strong winds are expected to exceed 40 knots (20.6 m/s) from Friday to Monday, May 6, he warned.

Gikungu said the counties of concern for strong winds are Mombasa, Tana River, Kilifi, Lamu, Kwale, Taita Taveta and Garissa.

“High winds can tear off roofs, uproot trees and cause structural damage,” he said.

Therefore, he advised against taking shelter under trees, walking through open fields or standing next to barred windows when it rains to minimize the risk of being struck by lightning.

As a safety precaution, the meteorologist advised against walking or driving through floodwaters and for residents in landslide-prone areas to remain vigilant.

The government said at least 188 people have died so far due to heavy rains lashing the country.

The Home Office said nine deaths had been reported in the last 24 hours.