Somalia: Dozens killed by Cyclone Sagar and heaviest rains on record

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At least 15 people were killed in Somalia over the weekend as Tropical Cyclone Sagar brought the heaviest rains on record in the country.

The tropical storm brought 60mph winds to the coast of Somalia and ventured further inland than any tropical storm since records began, 52 years ago. The cyclone hit the Puntland and Somalialand regions with heavy rains before moving along the coast towards Djibouti. At least 15 people were killed and tens of thousands displaced by the storm.

Tropical storm kills dozens in Somalia

Tropical Cyclone Sagar, which means “the sea” in Hindi, formed in over the Gulf of Aden last week, between Yemen and northern Somalia. After suffering three years of drought conditions, Puntland and Somalialand were hit by the heaviest rains on record while central and southern Somalia also suffered from floods – including the capital, Mogadishu, where at least six people were killed on Saturday.

“In the last 24 hours, heavy rains killed 15 people in the districts of Lughaya and Baki,” Abdirahman Ahmed Ali, governor of the Awdal area, told reporters on Sunday.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs explained that the areas of Somali experiencing drought over the past few years were the most susceptible to flash floods as the heavy rains fell.

“The cyclone has worsened the humanitarian situation in the two states and disputed regions, which have experienced protracted drought dating back to 2015, leaving them particularly prone to flash flooding in the direct aftermath of massive downpours,” it said in a statement.

Featured image: By VIIRS image captured by NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite – EOSDIS Worldview, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69235017

 

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.