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Tourists Rescued From Heavy Floods In Kenya

March 5, 2010 — Heavy rain causes flooding in eastern Kenya and forces several tourists to scramble up trees.

Heavy rain Thursday caused the Ewaso Nyiro river in Kenya's eastern province to burst its banks. Over 20 tourists were camping at the popular Reserve and were forced to climb trees to avoid the rising waters.

One American tourist said when they stepped out of the tent the water was really deep and moving very fast. After realizing there was no way out, the tourist explains the next step.

'So I returned and climbed a tree, about 30 feet up and waited and there were 5 others, there were some other people that were also stuck there at the same time so we all just stayed put.' Kenyan soldiers used helicopters to help bring the tourists to safer ground.

Locals have also been affected. At least six people have died in the flooding. Hundreds of buildings are damaged and floodwaters have also swept away livestock.

The heavy rains have been blamed on El Nino weather patterns across east Africa. Although the downpours are destructive they're also helping farmers recover from one of the worst drought spells in years.

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