Following weeks of heavy rain, a dam in Kenya has burst, leading to widespread destruction and death, government officials confirmed on Thursday.
The dam is situated some 190km northwest of the capital, Nairobi, in the town of Solai, Nakuru county.
Officials say the dam burst late on Wednesday and killed at least 20 people.
The Kenyan Red Cross said via Twitter that it had already rescued around 39 people so far.
According to a BBC report, the Patel dam swept away hundreds of homes downstream after it broke its walls.
“The water has caused huge destruction of both life and property. The extent of the damage has yet to be ascertained,” Reuters reports Lee Kinyajui, governor of Nakkuru, as saying in a statement.
It is believed that the dam walls caved as a result of high volumes of water stemming from the heavy rains the country has recently endured.
The dam was one of three reservoirs owned by a large-scale farmer in the area.
There are fears about the condition of the other two dams, as they are also believed to be full.
According to BBC, local leaders are now looking into whether the farmer was licensed to have the dams or not.
Rain has been falling heavily across the country since March. The death toll currently stands at 152 across the country, official statistics show. It is believed that more than 220 000 people have lost their homes.
In Wednesday evening’s incident, officials are still uncertain of the full extent of the damage.