At least 20 dead after dam bursts in Kenya: police

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Nairobi (AFP)

At least 20 people died when their homes were swept away after a dam burst in southern Kenya following heavy rains, police said Thursday.

The incident in Solai, near the Rift Valley city of Nakuru, occurred Wednesday evening, regional police chief Gideon Kibunjah told AFP by telephone, adding that 36 people had been hospitalised.

"More bodies have been recovered raising the death toll to 20," Kibunjah said, updating an earlier toll of 11.

The Kenyan Red Cross estimates that up to 500 families were affected by the disaster, which occurred some 150 kilometres (90 miles) northwest of Nairobi.

Weeks of torrential rains in Kenya have led to flooding and mudslides, and the latest deaths take to 152 the death toll countrywide.

The Kenya Red Cross estimates that up to 500 families were affected in the tragedy after their houses were swept away.

"We have set up a centre near the scene for families to report missing members to enable us to reunite them," said Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui.