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Section of Embu-Meru Highway closed following rain damage


A section of the Embu-Meru Highway has been closed indefinitely after rainwater undermined Ikong’u bridge which is between Mutunduri and Ena Markets.

Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire who co-chaired a meeting of the County Disaster Management Committee together with County Commissioner Jack Obuo said the bridge had become dangerous to motorists who should now use alternative routes.

Those driving trucks and buses have been directed to branch off at Mutunduri and drive to Runyenjes via Kanja while those driving smaller vehicles may use the earth road diversions as directed by Traffic Police Officers.

At the same time, the Governor reported that ten people have so far drowned across the county as they attempted to cross various seasonal rivers.

Three of the dead were from Mbeere North, three from Mbeere South, three from Mwea and one from Embu West.

She added that all the dead were swept away when they dared to cross swollen streams and urged those who find themselves on the wrong side of swollen rivers to find shelter with neighbours rather than risk life.

The Disaster Management Committee has now ordered residents of Mbondoni and Meguthe areas who neighbour Masinga Dam and those from Iriaitune, Kamarandi and Ndurumori locations that neighbour Kiambere Dam to move from their homes to higher ground as the two dams are full beyond safe levels and the excess water may spill over, flooding the neighbourhoods.

She said the committee will be making a rapid assessment of all earth dams with a view to issuing advisories to residents in case any show signs of damage.

The committee also asked those whose areas are prone to landslides to watch out for cracks and to move out immediately if they see signs the earth is about to give.

The governor also said that the rainwater has damaged water infrastructure and urged those forced to drink surface water as a result to ensure it is boiled before drinking to forestall waterborne diseases.

She said local schools have suffered extensive infrastructure damage and especially the toilets sinking.

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