Massive landslide kills four children in Kwale, Kenya

Photo:File/Standard
Four children aged 8 to 12 years were Friday evening buried alive in a massive landslide at Maganyakulo area of Matuga in Kwale County.
 
An avalanche of sand buried them as they bathed in a water pan underneath. The cause of the landslide was not established but heavy rains have been pounding the area for weeks and consequently soaking up the soil.
 
A fifth child, 10, was rescued and admitted to a Kwale hospital. The incident affected three families and left the entire village mourning. Kwale County Governor Salim Mvurya and County Commissioner Evans Achoki immediately closed the killer quarry that has existed for three years. Mohammed Ali Mwarimo who lost two children, Ismael Ali, 8 and Kassim Salim, 11 was in tears Saturday as he narrated to journalists the chilling events that led to the deaths.
 
Authorities have identified the other deceased as Shabaan Ali, 11 and Juma Mohamed Ali aged 12. “It was around 6p.m. when the children were preparing to go to the Mosque for evening prayers. There is usually some water at the scene where they went to wash themselves before the sand came down on them,” said Mwarimo. He added that other children raised the alarm after seeing their friends disappear in the sand and neighbours rushed to the scene where they rescued one who had already sank waist deep into the sand.
 
“The entire exercise of removing the bodies took like three hours because the sand was deep and the four were not buried at the same place with the fifth one,” he added. Mr Ali Salim, whose one son died while the other narrowly escaped, said they have complained for a long time about the quarry but all in vain. Salim blamed local village chairman Said Pembegwa for leaving the dangerous quarry open. “This has been a disaster in waiting but all pleas to close up this place has been met with resistance from the chair,” Salim remarked.
Courtesy of standardmedia.co.ke

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