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Tropical Cyclone Hits Somaliland Killing At Least 15 People

At least 15 people have died in Somaliland after heavy rains caused by tropical cyclone Sagar which landed in the Horn of Africa over the weekend.

Situated at the northern tip of east Africa on the Gulf of Aden, Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991.

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

“The Somaliland government has started giving emergency help to the victims.”

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Meanwhile in Puntland, a semi-autonomous northeastern region of Somalia, storms caused by the cyclone took away two men and their car from a valley in the city of Bosaso, Yusuf Mohamed Waeys, the governor of Bari in Puntland told Reuters on Sunday.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said thousands of people have been affected by the flooding, displacement and the destruction of infrastructure in Sagar’s wake.

“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.

At least 12 different relief agencies are involved in coordinating the humanitarian response, and met with Somaliland government officials on Sunday. The UN, along with Somali officials, are asking for USD$80 million to deal with unprecedented flooding in the Horn of Africa nation in recent weeks.

According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) tens of thousands of people have been affected by flooding, displacement and the destruction of infrastructure in Sagar’s wake,” OCHA said. “Due to the (armed) dispute over the regions of Sool and Sanaag and lack of access to some affected areas after the destruction of roads, the situation of affected populations and impediments caused by blocked roads and failed communications, the extent of the damage is yet to be fully confirmed.”

Officials in Djibouti said between 20,000 and 30,000 people were affected, where schools and community centers were inundated by flash floods. Some shelters in Damarjog and at the Ali Addeh refugee settlement were damaged or destroyed, but most areas did not suffer catastrophic damage, OCHA said.

India’s meteorological service said the storm had moved well inland and was bringing heavy rain to parts of Ethiopia.

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Written by PH

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