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Somalia: at Least 31 Killed in Floods Caused by Torrential Rains

Floods caused by torrential rainfall have killed at least 31 people in various parts of Somalia, according to the Somali government. Residents in Beledweyne, in central Somalia, could be seen wading through floodwaters on Monday.

Local resident Ahmed Idow described the situation in the area as “extremely bad,” adding that “people are running for their lives because of the force of the water. Some people are using tractors to get through.”

Since October, floods have displaced nearly half a million people and disrupted the lives of over 1.2 million people, Minister of Information Daud Aweis told reporters on Sunday in the capital Mogadishu.

They have also caused extensive damage to civilian infrastructure notably in the Gedo region of southern Somalia, he said.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, which has given $25 million to help mitigate the impact of flooding, warned in a statement Thursday of “a flood event of a magnitude statistically likely only once in 100 years, with significant anticipated humanitarian impacts.”

The lives of some 1.6 million people in Somalia could be disrupted by floods during the rainy season that lasts until December, with 1.5 million hectares of farmland potentially being destroyed, it said.

Mogadishu has been ravaged by downpours that, at times, swept away vulnerable people, including children and the elderly, and disrupted transportation.

Floods are also affecting neighboring Kenya, where the death toll stood at 15 on Monday, according to the Kenya Red Cross. The port city of Mombasa and the northeastern counties of Mandera and Wajir are the worst affected.

Source: Africa News