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Thousands of Kenyans displaced after heavy flooding

By Staff
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NAIROBI, Apr 18 (Reuters) Up to 3,000 Kenyans were forced to leave their homes on the coast after a river draining into the Indian Ocean burst its banks and flooded their homes, a senior government official said today.

Emerging from a severe drought that killed scores of people, the east African country has in recent weeks received pounding rains that have also forced thousands in the northeastern region from their homes.

The coast and northeastern regions were hardest hit by the drought.

''There has been a lot of rain upstream and as a result, the Sabaki river burst its banks,'' said Jan Ireri, district commissioner of the coastal Malindi District.

''Three thousand people were affected. Their homes and farms were submerged, but in the last four days or so, the water has receded to its normal level.'' In total, 10,000 people had lost their crops growing by the banks of the river, Ireri said, adding no one was reported injured.

He said the displaced had been asked not to move back into the area until a government expert assessed the damage.

REUTERS SB KP2136

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