At least 46 people were killed when a dam burst in Kenya’s Rift Valley early Monday morning. The accident, which followed persistent heavy rains, caught most of the victims asleep. The police chief of the Nakuru region, Samuel Ndanyi, reported from the operational area on Monday that most of the dead found in the mud masses in destroyed houses were women, children and elderly people. “We suspect they tried to escape and were swept away,” Ndanyi said.

The number of deaths could rise as clean-up and rescue work in the disaster area is still ongoing. Across the country, 66 people died on Monday alone. The usual rainy season, which begins in March in East Africa, will be intensified this year by the effects of the El Niño weather phenomenon. There were also deaths and destroyed houses and fields in Tanzania and Burundi.

The Kenyan government decided to postpone the start of the new school term by a week. Since the decision was only made late on Sunday evening, numerous children showed up at schools on Monday and had to turn back despite sometimes difficult road conditions. According to the Kenya Red Cross, dozens of school buildings were also damaged by floods and floods, and some homeless families found their first accommodation in schools.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed concern about the situation in Kenya and reiterated the UN’s continued commitment to support the country. The helpers’ work is made more difficult by impassable roads and interrupted transport connections to various parts of the country after bridges were flooded. The situation on Lake Victoria in the west of the country also became increasingly serious on Monday.