At least 18 people are killed and 56 others seriously injured following two landslides in western Kenya, officials said on Saturday.
Western Provincial Commissioner Abdul Mwasera said that several others are still trapped in a mudslide which occurred in Khuvasali village in Kakamega district early Saturday.
"We can of now confirm 18 deaths and 56 injuries. More people are still trapped inside the mudslide,"Mwasera told a local television station.
Mwasera said more than 25 people are admitted to the local hospital with minor injuries while one person was in critical condition.
He said frantic rescue operations by aid agencies are underway to recover those buried by a mudslide that struck sleeping villagers at 4 a.m. (01:00 GMT) on Saturday, and a second at 11a. m. (08:00 GMT) that swept away others attempting to rescue them.
The incident followed heavy rains that have been pounding the area for the last three days.
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki who was on a working visit in western Kenya has sent condolences to the families, relatives and friends of the villagers who perished in the landslides.
The president at the same time wished the injured quick recovery and said all the necessary government machinery had been mobilized to rescue those still trapped in the mudslides to mitigate the effect of the tragedy.
Kibaki advised residents from the affected area to move to more stable grounds as it was still active saying it was unfortunate that innocent lives had been lost in the tragedy.