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El Niño rains in Kenya have caused devastating flooding and killed over 120 people. Here's what it looks like.

Residents help a young child while trying to cross a road damaged by El Niño rains in Tula, Tana River county in Kenya on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023.
Residents help a young child while trying to cross a road damaged by El Niño rains on November 25, 2023.Brian Inganga/AP
  • Severe flooding in Kenya has displaced hundreds of people and left over 120 dead.

  • The weather event El Niño is impacting the climate patterns, causing temperatures to rise.

  • The UN World Meteorological Organization expects the warming El Niño weather to last into 2024.

Mass flooding in Africa is displacing hundreds of people in Kenya by flooding roads and communities.

The chaotic weather stems from the El Niño Southern Oscillation, a weather event that occurs naturally and irregularly about every two to seven years. It creates a domino-like weather effect impacting areas across the globe with varying rainfall and temperature changes, per the World Health Organization.

In eastern Africa, El Niño typically causes wet conditions, according to the WHO. These photos show the devastating impact that the weather fluctuations can have.

Kenya has felt heavy rains since October.

Residents cross a road damaged during flooding in Tana River county in Kenya.
Residents cross a road damaged during flooding in Tana River county on November 25, 2023.Brian Inganga/AP

While October to December is typically a rainy season for Kenya, the rains have been exacerbated by El Niño, leading to devastating flooding.

Kenyan authorities have instructed residents to move to higher ground, prompting many to trek across flooded roads. Many other roads and infrastructure elements have been completely destroyed, complicating rescues, the Associated Press reported in late November.

Rains are expected to continue into January.

Police officers walk through a flooded compound within the Gamba Police station, Garsen, Kenya, after heavy floods following heavy rains on December 2, 2023.
Police officers walk through a flooded compound within the Gamba Police station in Garsen, Kenya on December 2, 2023.Gideon Maundu/AP

Flooding has swept away homes as authorities warn heavy rains will continue into January, Reuters reported. Residents are also expected to experience "prolonged power outages," the AP reported.

"All roads are destroyed. I don't even know where people will go," Joel Ngui, a resident of the Kenyan town of Garissa, told the AP.

The death toll has reached the triple digits.

Residents help a young child while trying to cross a road damaged by El Niño rains in Tula, Tana River county in Kenya on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023.
Residents help a young child while trying to cross a road damaged by El Niño rains on November 25, 2023.Brian Inganga/AP

Reuters reports a death toll of at least 120 people in Kenya, though local reports say its risen to 136, according to Africa News. The outlet reported that some 460,000 people have been displaced.

Neighboring countries of Ethiopia and Somalia have experienced similarly devastating rains. The combined death toll from the three countries is near 300 people, NPR reported last week.

Floods have destroyed roads, farms, and livestock.

Boats ferry passengers from one side of the closed road from flooding in Garsen, Kenya on December 2, 2023.
Boats ferry passengers from one side of the closed road from flooding in Garsen, Kenya on December 2, 2023.Gideon Maundu/AP

Aside from devastating communities, the floodwaters have also destroyed hundreds of acres of farmland and caused hundreds of livestock deaths, according to Al Jazeera.

Aid organizations like the Kenya Red Cross have provided food and medical assistance to those in need.

Residents have been forced to make temporary shelters.

Internally displaced people camp at Garsen School compound due to heavy floods in Danisa, within Tana River County, Kenya, Sunday Dec. 3, 2023.
Displaced people camp at a compound in Kenya on Sunday Dec. 3, 2023.Gideon Maundu/AP

People living along Kenya's largest river, the Tana River, were forced to create makeshift shelters on higher ground after the river burst its banks.

One widow with five children told the AP that her home was carried away by the raging waters.

"I had no one to help me," Marian Ware told the AP. "I was struggling to get my children to safety. When I went back, everything was gone."

Read the original article on Business Insider