29 killed, 850,000 displaced in Somalia flooding

Xinhua , Wednesday 8 Nov 2023

At least 29 people have been killed and more than 850,000 displaced due to flooding triggered by heavy rains in Somalia, according to the country's disaster management authorities.

Somalia flood
Men ride on a donkey cart through floodwater in Beledweyne, central Somalia. The Shabelle River has burst its banks in Beledweyne, in central Somalia, forcing thousands of people to abandon their homes, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and submerging markets and hospitals. AFP


Mohamed Moalim, commissioner of the Somali Disaster Management Agency (SoDMA), said that more than 305,000 people have been displaced throughout the country as riverine flooding along the Juba and Shabelle rivers continues to wreak havoc.

"The torrential rains have claimed 29 lives, caused injuries, property damage, and affected 850,000 people," Moalim told journalists in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

He warned communities to remain vigilant due to the high risk of riverine flooding along the entire stretch of the Juba River, particularly in the Gedo, Bakool and Bay regions in southern Somalia, and flash flooding in low-lying areas.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, through its Somalia Water and Land Information Management, has warned of further flooding across Somalia, estimated to impact 1.2 million people residing in riverine areas.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported Monday that emergency rescuers were working to evacuate 2,400 people still trapped by floodwaters in the Luuq district in southern Somalia. This adds to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Somalia, where more than 3.7 million people are experiencing extreme hunger.

The number is expected to increase to 4.3 million by December, partly due to the impact of flooding caused by the ongoing heavy rains.

Somalia declared an emergency in areas affected by the torrential (October to December) rains Sunday, according to SoDMA. The heavy rains come after Somalia suffered its worst drought in four decades, following five failed rainy seasons that decimated livestock and crops, pushing the country to the brink of famine.

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