All 51 passengers rescued after bus was swept by floods in T. River

Red Cross personnel help pasengers who were stranded aboard a bus that has been marooned by raging waters at Arer near Tulla village, Tana River County./COURTESY

51 people have been rescued after the bus they were traveling in was swept by floods in Tana River County.

The Umma Express bus was traveling from Garissa to Nairobi when it was swept by raging floods at Lager Areli in Tana River County following a heavy downpour.

“Please be informed that today at around 1130 hrs Umma Express bus reg. No KDN 598X with 51 persons on board including the driver and crew left Garissa for Nairobi. On reaching Lager Areli, the section previously washed off by floods was completely flooded, the driver, one Hassan Rage risked crossing against the advice of other drivers,” read a police incident report.

According to the Kenya Red Cross, all passengers aboard the bus have been rescued, with priority initially given to women, children, and those who were sick.

“However, our efforts are ongoing as we continue to rescue other commuters who were stranded due to the road being cut off at Arer near Tulla Bridge, Tana River County,” said Red Cross.

Meanwhile, the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has closed the Nairobi-Garissa (A3) Road due to flooding at Arer Area, between Bangaley and Madogo.

“The flooding at Arer has compromised the road and diversion that was previously in use. This poses a high safety risk to the road users. This road, therefore, shall remain closed until the flood waters subside and the damaged section is reinstated,” said KeNHA.

The Authority also closed Madogo – Hola (B89) Road and advised motorists traveling along the route at Dukanotu and Bilbil Bridge area to anticipate flooding due to ongoing rains.

“Flooding has already occurred on the Bangaley – Madogo Road (A3) at Tulla and Arer, posing significant safety risks to road users. In response, KeNHA has deemed the road section between Madogo Junction and Bura unsafe and closed until floodwaters subside and the damaged section is reinstated. Contractors are on-site and prepared to address any issues once the waters recede,” said the Highways Authority.

Motorists have been urged to exercise caution and refrain from driving through flooded areas.