Somalia Cyclone: As many as 300 feared dead

2013-11-13 14:28
An aerial view of flooding in and around Jowhar town in Somalia. Heavy rains in Somalia coupled with recent disputes between clans have resulted in displaced people seeking shelter at an African Union Mission in Somalia military base near the town of

An aerial view of flooding in and around Jowhar town in Somalia. Heavy rains in Somalia coupled with recent disputes between clans have resulted in displaced people seeking shelter at an African Union Mission in Somalia military base near the town of

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mogadishu - As many as 300 people are feared dead after a ferocious storm and days of heavy floods in Somalia's north-eastern Puntland region, the local government said on Wednesday.

"Torrential rains, high wind speeds and flooding has created a state of emergency, with 300 persons feared dead, hundreds others unaccounted for, and countless livestock lost," the government of the semi-autonomous region said in a statement.

The death toll could not be independently verified, but weather experts from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) confirmed flooding was severe.

"Given that Puntland is a semi-arid region, it rarely rains but when it does, to an extent we have seen... the impact is devastating," said Hussein Gadain, a senior FAO technical advisor.

Infamous pirate hotspots such as the port of Eyl - from where Somali gunmen have launched attacks far out into the Indian Ocean - are some of the worst affected.

"Many fishermen are missing and feared dead, the storm has destroyed entire villages, homes, buildings, and boats," the statement added.

Coastal destruction caused by a 2004 tsunami was widely seen as being one trigger for a surge in attacks off Somalia, peaking in January 2011 when the pirates held 736 hostages and 32 boats.

Disaster

However, the rate of attacks has tumbled in the past two years, prompted partly by the posting of armed guards on boats and navy patrols.

Pirates still hold an Omani-flagged Naham 3 fishing boat offshore, as well as at least six traditional wooden Yemeni fishing boats, although around 90 sailors from other boats are still held hostage onshore.

Puntland's government has described the situation as a "disaster", with entire villages destroyed, and said it was appealing for emergency international aid.

The World Food Programme (WFP) said it is "working closely" with local authorities "to assess the needs in Puntland in the aftermath of the cyclone".

The main tarmac road between Puntland's capital Garowe and the key port Bossaso has been cut off by flood waters, hampering delivering of relief supplies.

"The loaded and ready trucks cannot deliver supplies by road, as the heavy rains and flooding have rendered dirt roads to the coastal areas impassible," the government added.

Somalia has been riven by civil war since the collapse of central government in 1991.

Impoverished Puntland, which forms the tip of the Horn of Africa, has its own government, although unlike neighbouring Somaliland, it has not declared independence from Somalia.


- AFP

Read more on:    wfp  |  somalia  |  natural disasters  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.