Tragic Flash Flooding in Somalia Claims 50 Lives, Displaces Nearly 700,000
In a devastating turn of events, flash flooding in Somalia has resulted in the loss of 50 lives and forced nearly 700,000 people from their homes, according to a government official.
The situation is expected to exacerbate with heavy rains forecasted to persist from Tuesday onward, compounding the challenges faced by the country.
The Horn of Africa region is currently grappling with torrential rainfall and floods attributed to the El Nino weather phenomenon. The impact has been severe, claiming dozens of lives and causing widespread displacement.
In Somalia, the relentless downpours have ravaged infrastructure, destroying bridges, and inundating residential areas.
At a press briefing on Monday, Mohamud Moalim Abdullahi, the director of the Somali Disaster Management Agency, shared, “Fifty people died in the disaster… while 687,235 people were forced to flee their houses.”
He further warned, “The expected rains between 21st and 24th of November… may cause more flooding which could cause death and destruction.”
Over the weekend, the UN humanitarian agency OCHA reported a grim escalation in the crisis, stating that the number of displaced people due to heavy rains and floods in Somalia “has nearly doubled in one week.”
The disaster has affected 1.7 million people overall, with critical damage to roads, bridges, and airstrips in various areas disrupting the movement of people and supplies. This has led to increased prices of basic commodities, adding to the challenges faced by the affected communities.
Save the Children, a British charity, expressed deep concern on Thursday, revealing 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, already one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change, is experiencing extreme weather events with heightened frequency and intensity. The current crisis comes on the heels of the region recovering from the worst drought in four decades, marked by multiple failed rainy seasons that left millions in need and devastated crops and livestock.
Humanitarian groups are sounding the alarm, emphasizing that the situation is likely to deteriorate further. Urgent global intervention is crucial as El Nino is anticipated to persist until at least April 2024, prolonging the challenges faced by the affected populations.