49 killed, 70 others missing after Somaliland tropical cyclone

Mark Lowcock

Mark Lowcock

At least 49 people were killed while 70 others are still missing following tropical cyclone Sagar that caused heavy rains and flooding in Somaliland, the UN humanitarian agency said on Sunday night.


Citing estimates from Somaliland’s disaster management authority, NADFOR, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said nearly 168,000 people were directly affected and some 277 hectares of land have been destroyed in the affected villages.


“Key infrastructure, including roads, fishing boats, medical facilities, boreholes and water wells were damaged.


Over 80 per cent of community shelters have been destroyed and 33 schools were affected,” said OCHA in its latest humanitarian bulletin.


According to the UN, communities in the coastal areas of Somaliland and major portions of Awdal district, as well as some coastal communities in Puntland are still reeling from the impact of tropical cyclone Sagar.


The cyclone, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in Somalia, left an entire year’s worth of rain in a matter of hours, according to SWALIM.


“It left in its trail death, floods and strong winds, as well as the destruction of farmland and infrastructure.


Thousands of livestock were killed and civilians displaced. The impact of the cyclone has affected communities that were still recovering from prolonged drought,” said the UN relief agency.


In Puntland, said the UN, flash floods in Bari left three people dead and damaged the road linking the town of Bossaso to areas in the south.


“Humanitarians have reported that 3,600 families were affected. The worst-affected areas include the coastal towns of Bareeda, Caluula, Gumbax, Murcanyo, Xaabo and some parts of Qandala,” says the report, noting that houses and fishing boats were washed away.


Agricultural land was also swamped. Cyclone Sagar which formed in the Gulf of Aden hit Somaliland, northern Somalia on May 19.


It also affected the neighboring country Ethiopia, where 188,000 people were reportedly displaced. -Xinhua


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