Floods in Somalia | Fifty dead and 700,000 displaced

(Mogadishu) Brutal floods in Somalia have killed 50 people and driven nearly 700,000 people from their homes, a government official announced, while heavy downpours expected on Tuesday are expected to worsen the situation.

The Horn of Africa is facing torrential rains and floods linked to the El Niño weather phenomenon which have claimed dozens of lives and caused large-scale displacement, notably in Somalia, where torrential rains destroyed bridges and flooded areas residential.

“Fifty people died in the disaster… while 687,235 people were forced to flee their homes,” Mohamud Moalim Abdullahi, director of the Somali Disaster Management Agency, said at a press briefing on Monday.

“The rains expected between November 21 and 24 risk causing further flooding which could cause death and destruction,” he added.

On Saturday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the number of people displaced by heavy rains and floods in Somalia had “nearly doubled in a week”, while 1.7 million people in total were affected by the disaster.

“In addition, roads, bridges and airstrips have been damaged in several areas, affecting the movement of people and supplies and leading to an increase in prices of basic commodities,” OCHA said.

British charity Save the Children said on Thursday that more than 100 people, including 16 children, had died and more than 700,000 people had been forced from their homes in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia following flash floods.

The Horn of Africa is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events are increasingly frequent and intense.

The region is emerging from its worst drought in four decades, after several disappointing rainy seasons that left millions in need and devastated crops and livestock.

Aid groups have warned the situation will only get worse and called for urgent global intervention as El Niño is expected to last until at least April 2024.

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