In the Somali region of Ethiopia, flash flooding brought on by heavy rainfall has resulted in over 20 fatalities and over 12,000 displaced persons, the regional authorities reported on Saturday.
The rain has wrecked roads and bridges, making it impossible to get to impacted households, according to a statement from the Somali Regional State Communication Bureau. Property, agricultural, and animal damage has also been recorded.
“More than 20 people have died in the flood so far… more than 12,000 families have been displaced,” the statement said.
“Rising rainfall and forecasts show that the risk of flooding remains high.”
The UN’s humanitarian agency, OCHA, said last month that eastern Africa would likely encounter heavier than normal rains over the October-December period because of the El Nino phenomenon.
El Nino is a naturally occurring pattern associated with increased heat worldwide, as well as drought in some parts of the world and heavy rains elsewhere.
Since the start of the October-December monsoon in Somalia, “floods due to heavy rains have affected at least 405,652 people, with 14 deaths”, OCHA said in a situation report released on Saturday.
“At least 47,100 people have relocated to higher grounds to avoid the risk of flooding,” the agency said, adding that the downpour had cut off access to markets and farmland in some areas.