Severe windstorm hits parts of Kenya, signals start of rainy season


A severe windstorm hit parts of Kenya on October 1, 2019, causing damage and power outages in the capital Nairobi, Murang'a, Thika, and Machakos. The event also caused traffic chaos on major roads in Nairobi.

David Koros, a principal at Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) said they were expecting change of weather in parts of Eastern, Rift Valley, Central Kenya, and Nairobi.

KMD also said the windstorm is emanating from the Indian Ocean and it could cause some hitches in target areas.

"What some parts of the country experienced was what we call a downburst which is a strong ground-level wind system that emanates from a point source above and blows radially, that is, in straight lines in all directions from the point of contact at ground level and that is what we have seen," Koros explained.

Several billboards and trees were knocked down in Lavington, Syokimau, Githurai, Jogoo Road, the Central Business District, and Parklands area.

A dust storm also pummelled the towns of Kitengenga, Kajiado, and Mlolongo, forcing residents to hide in their homes. "I heard it coming, it was everything, wind dust and then the rain. Everyone was running to the houses," Embakasi resident Sherry Akinyi said.

Strong winds were also felt in Thika, Murang'a, Kirinyaga, and Machakos.

The windstorm marks the beginning of the short rainy season in the country.

Featured image credit: The East African


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