At least 70 people have died in floods in Kenya, where thousands of people have also been forced to leave their homes, President William Ruto declared this Saturday, calling the situation an “emergency.”

Kenya and its neighboring countries Somalia and Ethiopia, which are just emerging from their worst drought in four decades, are now experiencing devastating floods caused by rains linked to the El Niño weather phenomenon.

Ruto indicated that the cabinet would hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the management of the crisis. “Unfortunately, we lost 70 people across Kenya due to these rains and about 36,160 families have been displaced so far,” he explained.

“Kenya is already soaked,” he said, adding that the Meteorological Department was forecasting more rain, increasing the risk of further flooding. “Therefore, we must prepare for the emergency situation that will occur.”

Many roads, especially in the north of the country, were washed away, the president said, leaving trucks carrying food, medicine and fuel stranded.

Ruto also indicated that the army was called upon to airlift supplies to isolated communities.

The president came under fire after saying last month that the East African country would not suffer El Niño rains, only heavy rainfall that “would not be destructive.”