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Devastating Flash Floods Claim 50 Lives, Displace 700,000 in Somalia
In a tragic turn of events, flash flooding in Somalia has claimed the lives of 50 individuals and forced almost 700,000 people from their homes, according to a government official.
The dire situation is exacerbated by heavy rains that began on Tuesday, contributing to the country’s ongoing crisis.
The Horn of Africa region is grappling with torrential rainfall and floods associated with the El Nino weather phenomenon. This has led to a significant loss of life and widespread displacement, particularly in Somalia, where bridges have been destroyed, and residential areas are submerged.
At a press briefing on Monday, Mohamud Moalim Abdullahi, the director of the Somali Disaster Management Agency, revealed, “Fifty people died in the disaster… while 687,235 people were forced to flee their houses.”
He further warned that the anticipated rains between November 21st and 24th may intensify the flooding, posing additional threats to lives and property.
The UN humanitarian agency OCHA reported on Saturday that the number of people displaced by heavy rains and floods in Somalia “has nearly doubled in one week.”
The disaster has affected a total of 1.7 million people, causing damage to roads, bridges, and airstrips in several areas. This has hindered the movement of people and supplies, resulting in increased prices of essential commodities, according to OCHA.
Save the Children, a British charity, expressed deep concern on Thursday, stating that over 100 people, including 16 children, have lost their lives, and more than 700,000 have been displaced in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia due to flash flooding.
The Horn of Africa remains one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change, experiencing extreme weather events with heightened frequency and intensity. The current crisis follows the region’s recovery from the worst drought in four decades, characterized by multiple failed rainy seasons that left millions in dire need, devastated crops, and decimated livestock.
Humanitarian groups emphasize the urgent need for global intervention, citing the El Nino weather phenomenon’s expected persistence until at least April 2024.
As climate change continues to pose a severe threat to the region, these organizations stress the importance of immediate action to alleviate the suffering and mitigate the long-term impact on vulnerable populations.