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Kenya issues alert ahead of El Nino rains

IANS  |  Nairobi 

The Kenyan government on Sunday issued safety measures to help manage the impending El-Nino expected to bring heavy rains, floods and massive destruction of property from October.

A statement from the interior ministry said the government has formed a multi-agency communications team to coordinate and disseminate information regarding El Nino rains so as to provide the public with update alerts to minimize negative impact of the anticipated above-normal rains.

"Kenyans are advised that 23 counties are likely to experience direct effects of increased surface water levels due to the El Nino rains," said the statement, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Kenya Meteorological Department (MET) said the long rains season, which starts in October, is likely to coincide with the onset of the short rains, which start next month, adding that the prospect of a record-breaking El Nino is worrying since the 1997 weather killed many people and left hundreds homeless.

It said the El-Nino conditions have been evolving in the equatorial Pacific Ocean since May, noting that the conditions will continue through the short rains (Oct-Nov-Dec) season and mature in December as usual.

The statement said the multi-agency team will be issuing regular updates progressively throughout the El Nino period.

The East African nation has been witnessing huge weather swings in the recent times.

The long rains in April this year became unprecedented leading to massive destruction, death and an exposure of weak storm drainage systems across towns and cities.

First Published: Mon, October 05 2015. 00:44 IST