Photographer: TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images

Nairobi Building Collapse Kills 12 in Kenya Torrential Rains

  • Residential building was earmarked for demolition: government
  • Incident brings total death toll from floods to 19 people

At least 12 people died when a residential building in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi collapsed amid torrential rains, the government said.

That brings to 19 the number of people who’ve died in flood-related incidents in the city over the past 24 hours. Among the dead were four pedestrians killed when a wall collapsed in the central suburb of Hurlingham, while two people died when a vehicle they were traveling in was swept away, police spokesman Charles Owino said.

Rescuers work at the site of a building collapse in Nairobi on April 30.

Photographer: Sayyid Abdul Azim/AP Photo

A seven-story building in Huruma on the outskirts of Nairobi collapsed “as a result of heavy rains that have pounded the city,” Interior Ministry Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said in an e-mailed statement. Several people were injured, while at least 130 people were rescued, he said.

The 198-room building had been earmarked for demolition, the official said.

“For some strange reasons, the Nairobi county government never carried out the demolition order, which would have saved the country yesterday’s tragedy,” he said.

Nairobi and other parts of Kenya, including tea-growing areas in Kericho, Nandi and Meru, can expect more heavy rainfall over the next five days, the Meteorological Department said in a statement published via the Kenya National Disaster Operation Centre’s Twitter account. Kenya is the world’s largest exporter of black tea which, combined with horticulture, generates the bulk of its foreign-exchange earnings.

“There is a risk of flooding over low-lying areas and those with poor drainage,” according to the statement. “Some road sections are likely to be flooded and slippery, thus motorists need to exercise caution.”

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