Around 140,000 people in Somalia have been forced to flee their homes due to flooding in the Hiraan region, including some 70,000 children, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Friday.
The agency also warns that a further 300,000 people - including 150,000 children - in Beledweyn town and the surrounding areas of the Hiraan region of Somalia could be forced to relocate over the coming days if, as predicted by the Somalia Water and Land Information agency, the Shebelle River reaches the flooding threshold.
Parts of Somalia have experienced heavy rains in recent weeks, causing the floods that OCHA warns could continue to cause harm in precaution is not taken.
The agency says the floods have already damaged infrastructure and other facilities in the Horn of the African country, including markets, schools, and hospitals.
It also says the increased rains will worsen a food crisis in the country. Already at least 6.3 million people, nearly half the country's population, are affected by the situation. This includes 2.1 million people estimated to be experiencing severe food shortages between October to December 2019.
OCHA appealed for aid to support response programs in Hiraan region, including the provision of food, water, temporary shelter, and health services to those affected.