EBN- The death toll rises to 111 in devastating floods caused by heavy rains in southern Somalia. Over 700,000 people were also forced to flee their homes.
Torrential rains have hit the Horn of Africa since early October, killing at least 111 people, including 16 children. 700,000 others have been displaced by the floods that started in October in the Horn of Africa.
The El Niño climatic phenomenon is amplifying the rainy season in the region, affecting Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya in particular.
Entire towns have also been cut off in parts of Kenya and Ethiopia.
The areas affected had barely recovered from the worst drought to hit the region in four decades.
As more rains are forecast, people are abandoning their homes and moving to dry land. Meanwhile, government and aid agencies try to reach those affected.
“Incessant rainfall in Kenya’s northern counties and capital Nairobi has caused widespread flooding, displacing an estimated 36,000 people and killing 46 since the rainy season began less than a month ago,” said Save the Children in a statement, adding that 32 people had also died in Somalia and 33 in Ethiopia.
The British NGO also urged the international community to take action in response to “massive displacement” in all three countries.
The Horn of Africa is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change. Extreme weather events are occurring with increasing frequency and intensity.
El Niño phenomenon
Since late 2020, Somalia and parts of Ethiopia and Kenya have been hit by the worst drought in the region in 40 years.
El Niño, generally associated with rising temperatures, droughts in some parts of the world and heavy rains in others, is set to continue until April.
This meteorological phenomenon has already wreaked havoc in East Africa.
From October 1997 to January 1998, gigantic floods following torrential rains caused by El Niño killed more than 6,000 people in five countries in the region.