BELEDWEYNE, Somalia (AP) — A regional official told AFP on Saturday that flash floods in central Somalia had displaced approximately 200,000 people after the Shabelle River breached its banks and inundated highways.
Residents of Beledweyne town in Hiran region were forced to flee their houses after heavy rain caused water levels to rise dramatically, with residents carrying their goods on their heads as they waded through flooded streets in search of sanctuary.

“Approximately 200,000 people have been displaced as a result of the Shabelle River flash floods in Beledweyne town, and the number could rise at any time.” It is now a preliminary figure,” said Ali Osman Hussein, the Hiran region’s deputy governor for social affairs.

“We are doing everything we can to assist those who are affected,” he told AFP.

Hassan Ibrahim Abdulle, the region’s deputy governor, stated on Friday that “three people were killed by the floods.”

The calamity follows a historic drought that has pushed millions of Somalis to the verge of hunger, and the volatile country has also been fighting an Islamist insurgency for decades.

Residents told AFP that water flowed through the streets and into houses earlier this week, forcing them to flee their homes in the middle of the night.

Fartun Ali, not her real name, claimed she was fleeing flash flooding in Beledweyne for the fifth time.
“Whenever the river breaks its banks, we flee,” the mother of eight, 35, told AFP.

Another resident, Iman Badal Omar, expressed relief at escaping with his life.

“The only thing we could do was evacuate and save our children.” “We didn’t take anything with us,” he told AFP.
During the rainy season, East and Central Africa are frequently subjected to harsh weather.

Earlier this month, severe rains drenched Rwanda, causing floods and landslides in numerous sections of the hilly country, killing 135 people and displacing over 9,000 others.

Last week’s severe rains, floods, and landslides killed over 400 people in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

According to experts, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense as a result of climate change, with Africa facing the brunt of the consequences.
In May 2020, at least 65 people died in Rwanda as a result of torrential rains, while at least 194 people died in Kenya.
During two months of continuous rain in numerous East African countries towards the end of 2019, at least 265 people died and tens of thousands were evacuated.
In Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, the heavy rains harmed about two million people and washed away tens of thousands of livestock.



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