East Africa: Somalis Abandon Homes as Flash Floods Kill 50, Displace 700,000

23 November 2023

Flash flooding has killed at least 50 people and driven nearly 700,000 from their homes, a government official said, with more heavy rains expected to worsen Somalia's plight, reports AFP.

The Horn of Africa region is currently facing heavy rainfall and floods attributed to the El Niño weather phenomenon, and Somalia is being hit hard with intense downpours destroying bridges and flooding residential areas.

The British charity Save the Children reported that over 100 people, including 16 children, lost their lives, and more than 700,000 people were compelled to evacuate their homes in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia as a result of flash flooding.

The Horn of Africa stands as one of the regions most susceptible to the impacts of climate change, experiencing a rise in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. The region is recovering from its severest drought in forty years, following numerous unsuccessful rainy seasons that have left millions of people in dire need and caused significant damage to crops and livestock.

Humanitarian groups warn that the situation is likely to get worse and called for urgent global intervention as El Nino is expected to last until at least April 2024. As more rains are forecast, people are abandoning their homes and moving to dry land as governments and aid agencies try to reach those affected. -  Edited by Juanita Williams

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