The country’s national disaster agency reports that flooding that started in early October in Somalia has killed 50 people and forced more than a half million people from their homes.
According to the Somalia Disaster Management Agency (SoDMA), the intense rains have also destroyed livestock and crops in other areas of Somalia by causing landslides and flash floods.
“The floods in the country have killed 50 people and displaced more than half a million citizens,” SoDMA Commissioner Mohamed Moalim told journalists in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Thursday evening.
In response to UN warnings that more property damage, widespread displacement, and increased humanitarian needs are likely, Moalim said the organization has dispatched a relief cargo plane to the Bardhere district in southern Somalia to aid flood victims.
1.24 million people have already been impacted by the heavy rains and flooding, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and more are anticipated. According to estimates from the UN and its partners, 1.5 million hectares of farmland could be destroyed and 1.6 million people could be impacted by flooding during the current deyr (October to December) rainy season.
The combination of El Nino conditions and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole phenomenon is expected to result in increased rainfall.
A flood advisory issued on Monday by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Somalia Water and Land Information Management said that flooding was observed throughout the Juba River, with the extent of the flooding increasing at Bardhere and downstream at Saakow and Bualle.
Flooding along the Shabelle River was reported to be moderate at Balcad and increasing at Beledweyne.
According to UN estimates, there will only be a flood event of this size and statistical likelihood once every 100 years, with major expected humanitarian consequences.