More than 20 people feared dead and over 12,000 more have been displaced from their homes in Ethiopia’s Somali region as a result of flash flooding brought on by torrential rains, the regional government said on Saturday.
The flooding also caused damage to property, livestock, and crops. The Somali Regional State Communication Bureau said in a statement that more than 20 people had died in the flood so far and that more than 12,000 families had been forced out of their homes. Rising rainfall and forecasts indicate that the risk of flooding remains high.
The United Nations humanitarian agency, Ocha, gave a warning last month that the El Nino phenomenon will probably result in greater than usual rainfall for eastern Africa between October and December.
El Nino is a naturally occurring phenomenon connected to global warming, drought in some regions, and heavy rainfall in other places.
One of the locations at risk from climate change is the Horn of Africa, where intense weather events occur more frequently.
In late 2020, the worst drought to hit the region in the past 40 years happened in Somalia, along with portions of Ethiopia and Kenya.
After 2 months of unending rain in many East African nations, at least 265 people died and tens of thousands were forced to leave their homes towards the end of 2019.
Nearly two million people were affected by the intense rains, which also destroyed tens of thousands of livestock in Djibouti, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Somalia.