Flash flood in Somalia kills 50, displaces 700,000 from homes

The UN humanitarian agency OCHA confirms that the number of displaced people in Somalia "has nearly doubled in one week", and 1.7 million people overall have been affected.

Following heavy rains on Tuesday, 50 people have been killed by flash floods in Somalia, leaving almost 700,000 displaced from their homes.

During a press briefing on Monday, Somali Disaster Management Agency director Mohamud Moalim Abdullahi said, “Fifty people died in the disaster… while 687,235 people were forced to flee their houses,” adding, “The expected rains between 21st and 24th of November… may cause more flooding which could cause death and destruction”.

On Saturday, the UN humanitarian agency OCHA confirmed that the number of displaced people in Somalia “has nearly doubled in one week”, and 1.7 million people overall have been affected.

The flash floods have been linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon.

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

Meanwhile, UK charity Save the Children announced that more than 100 people, including 16 children, perished, and over 700,000 were forced from their homes in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia as a result of the flash floods.

Until April 2024

According to a warning by humanitarian groups, the situation is expected to deteriorate as they urged for global intervention, with El Nino expected to go on until April 2024.

The last flash flooding in Somalia took place in May this year, which killed 22 people and affected over 450,000, per OCHA, after the Shabelle River burst its banks, forcing tens of thousands out of their homes.

East and Central Africa often suffer from extreme weather during the rainy seasons.

The flash floods come amid the country’s battle against an insurgency and a drought crisis.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, El Nino began in the month of July. The weather phenomenon can also exacerbate health issues as climate change fosters the spread of diseases to new regions. 

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