Death toll in West Pokot landslide hits 37
37 people have been confirmed dead after they were buried alive following landslides in Nyarkulian and Parua villages in West Pokot County.
The 37 from Tapach and Parua in Pokot South, and from Tamkal in Pokot Central, were buried alive after a night of heavy downpour.
According to West Pokot County Commissioner Apollo Okello, 15 bodies have already been retrieved from the mud while the search for the other 22 continues.
In a statement to newsrooms, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i however indicated that military and police choppers have already been deployed to scale up responses to the tragedy.
“ The Government has deployed Military and Police Choppers to scale up responses and respond to immediate needs of affected families. While rescue and recovery efforts remain the priority, a full assessment into the extent of damage caused continues to be a challenge due to harsh weather conditions,” read the statement.
Speaking to Citizen Digital earlier on phone, Sondany area chief Joel Bulal indicated that there were more causalities whose fate is still unknown.
” Many people have been injured while animals and houses have also been buried by the massive landslide,” said Bulal.
The interior CS however noted that while rescue and recovery efforts remain the priority, the harsh weather conditions are hampering their operations.
Traffic flow in the county has also been affected with major roads cut off.
A dispatch from the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) issuing a traffic warning that sections of the highway have been cut off at Ortum and Sebit following the heavy downpour.
KeNHA has urged motorists to exercise extra caution adding that its officers have been dispatched to restore the two sections.
Taking to twitter, Deputy President William Ruto condoled with the bereaved families further urging those in vulnerable areas to be on high alert.
“Sincere condolences to the families of the victims of the West Pokot landslide. May God give you peace and comfort, and may our prayers ease the pain of this great loss,” wrote DP Ruto.