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SCREEN GRAB: Flooded streets are seen from the air in the town of Beledweyne, in Somalia on November 19, 2023. FILE.

Somalia ramps up flood mitigation response as deaths near 100

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The Somalia government and humanitarian agencies have stepped up mitigation measures, including rescue operations in flood-prone areas as the death toll from El Nino-induced heavy rains and flash flooding has risen to nearly 100.

The Somalia Disaster Management Agency (SODMA) said on Saturday that at least 96 people have died from the devastating floods which have affected 2.3 million others in Somalia.

The United Nations has warned that the devastating floods have exacerbated Somalia’s hunger crisis with about 4.3 million people forecast to face crisis-level hunger or worse (IPC3+) by the end of the year.

The raging flash floods have also destroyed infrastructure and disrupted trade, education, and food supply services across the country

SODMA Commissioner Mohamuud Moalim said more than 900,000 people have been displaced across the country as the government and humanitarian agencies rush against time to rescue those who have been marooned.

“Out of 96 deaths, 28 of them died in a boat that capsized after al-Shabab struck,” Moalim told journalists in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, on Saturday.

He called for coordinated flood mitigation efforts and urged citizens to remain vigilant as more downpours are still expected in the coming days.

On Thursday, the cabinet said during its weekly meeting chaired by Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre that the government is working round the clock to help the people affected by the floods.

The cabinet also called on humanitarian agencies and the Somali business community to help the people affected by the flash floods, the worst in decades.

According to SODMA, an estimated 4,000 livestock have been lost and over 136,000 properties have either been damaged or destroyed.

The disaster agency said it has reached over 24,000 households with some form of humanitarian aid.

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