By Bernard Maranga, KBC/NECJOGHA
Meru, Kenya- Five people died in three different incidents following heavy rains that pounded Meru County in eastern Kenya on Wednesday night.
In the first incident, three people were swept away by storm water at Naari market as they sheltered themselves from the heavy rain outside a church.
The strong water current broke the door to Hossana church and carried Master Boniface Muriungi, a student at St Augustine, Ms Muko Kinya, 30, and Mr James Karani for about 400 metres down a rocky terrain.
Their badly mutilated bodies and the church door were spotted early morning by farmers taking their milk to the local dairy, trapped by tree roots.
In Karegia village, Imenti North Sub County, police retrieved the body of Wilfred Mwirigi, 42, after he was swept by flood water as he shielded himself from the rains.
And in Kienderu village, residents were shocked to find the body of an unidentified man electrocuted during the downpour.
In the Naari incident, Ms Lucy Kigora, 48, a farmer narrated how she spotted the bodies as she inspected the damage caused by the flood water, when she spotted two bodies trapped by trees.
Another one was spotted about 20 metres from her house by curious residents.
“The flood water was moving too fast and I could feel the sound. When I woke up, I decided to examine the damage caused and spotted the bodies. I was very shocked and raised the alarm,” she narrated.
Mr Jamleck Kimathi narrated how he survived the tragedy by crossing the flooded road before the volumes increased.
“About five people including the woman had gathered there but the floods were moving at very high speed. I told them that it would be risky to wait for the rain to stop since it was at night,” he recounted.
Naari chief Francis Rimbere said the heavy rain started at around 8pm Thursday and by 11pm, a large wave had formed due to rain pounding further uphill.
“I was informed that some people had been swept away and started sensitizing members of public not to venture outside. The rain was not very heavy here but floods from other areas had gained momentum and moved at high speed,” he said.
The chief said flood water had also filled pit latrines at Kironya primary school and damaged structures at Michogomone day secondary and primary schools.
Among the dead was Ms Kinya, a casual labourer who had gone to buy supper and left her three-year old son in the house.
Meru Chief Fire fighter Joseph Njoroge led the operations to retrieve the bodies which were later taken to Meru Level Five Hospital mortuary.