At least 7 tourists have been killed by flash floods in Kenya’s Hell’s Gate National Park in the rift valley region which is about 100km northwest of Nairobi.
The incident claimed lives of six Kenyans and one Indian who were washed away alongside their local guide from the Olkarian Community Tour Guides by sudden flash floods as they explored the gorge.
According to the Kenya Wildlife Service that manages the park, Tourists are always accompanied by a guides who were trained to detect such incident.
They however described this one as an unfortunate one.
“The tour guides have been trained to detect storm water flowing downstream towards the gorge. Every group is usually accompanied by experienced guides who are able to alert tourists of impending emergencies and direct them to exit points” they tweeted.
“Since a similar tragedy in 2012, we have put in place stringent precautionary measures to prevent a recurrence and ensure the safety of our visitors. We have created clearly marked emergency exits along the whole gorge as escape routes in cases of danger like the flash floods” they revealed.
The first body was recovered on Sunday after the incident, and six others on Monday.
“We are holding counseling sessions with the bereaved families to help them cope with the untimely deaths of their loved ones. The search and rescue operation has been called off this afternoon after bodies of all the missing tourists and their guide were accounted for”.
Flash floods are commonplace in low-lying areas when they experience rapid and sudden flooding from rains in neighboring high areas.
Even when it has not rained in the low-lying areas, such floods occur when large volumes of water from other regions flow downstream.
At the moment the Gorge has been closed indefinitely due to ongoing rains in the region. However, other areas of the park remain open to the public.