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Tourists and staff evacuated from Kenya's flood Maasai Mara national reserve

A lodge is seen in the flooded Maasai Mara National Reserve   -  
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Bobby Neptune/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved


Scores of tourists were evacuated by helicopter in Kenya’s Maasai Mara national reserve on Wednesday after more than a dozen hotels, lodges, and camps were flooded.

As heavy rains continue to batter the country, more than 14 camps were submerged early on Wednesday after the Talek River within the park broke its banks.

Kenya’s Red Cross says it has successfully evacuated over 90 people.

The Mara Elephant Project and the Narok County government both say they also dispatched helicopters to help with the evacuations.

Local media are reporting that tourists and staff were forced to climb trees on Tuesday night to flee the surging waters.

The Maasai Mara, in the south-west of the country, is a popular tourist destination because it features the annual wildebeest migration from the Serengeti in Tanzania.

More than 180 people have died across Kenya since mid-March with above-average rainfall causing widespread flooding, landslides, and destruction of infrastructure.

President William Ruto has ordered the military to join in the search and rescue efforts and urged anyone living in “fragile areas” prone to landslides and flooding to move to higher ground.

Meteorologists have warned that more rain is expected this week.

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