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Thursday, 24 June 2021

Record floods left 86 people dead and widespread damage in Sudan

Reuters , Thursday 27 Aug 2020
Children are seen in the waters of the Blue Nile floods within the Al-Ikmayr area of Omdurman in Khartoum, Sudan August 27, 2020. REUTERS/

Flood waters in Sudan have reached the highest levels on record, killing dozens of people, destroying thousands of homes and encroaching on some neighbourhoods of the capital Khartoum.

Flooding regularly hits Sudan in summer, but this year's unprecedented water levels have left larger tracts of farmland submerged and residents around Khartoum are looking anxiously outside their homes for fear of the rising waters.

Flood waters have spilled over into major roads in Khartoum for the first time in living memory.

"The waters of the Nile flooded our house at midnight yesterday," said Ahmed Bastawy, a resident of Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman, who stayed up all night trying to protect his house only to see some of its mud brick walls collapse.

"We have never seen flooding like this. Authorities provided us with soil and sacks, but we failed to block the waters and the houses were destroyed."

The average level of the Blue Nile has reached 17.43 metres, the highest since the country started measuring in 1912, Irrigation Minister Yasser Abbas said on Thursday.

Blue Nile waters would continue to rise in the coming days, said Abdelrahman Sughairun, head of the ministry's flood committee.

As of Tuesday the floods had left 86 people dead, destroyed more than 18,000 homes and damaged a further 32,000, according to the interior ministry.

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