In densely populated Beledweyne, A city on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia, flash flooding due to climate change, and extreme weather events have occured with increased frequency and intensity. The people of the city have had to flee due to the city’s now inhabitable environment. The riverine flooding originating from the heavy rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands made its way through to the Shabelle River in Beledweyne bursting the banks and instantaneously engulfing the city in water.
The Horn of Africa is accustomed to the temperament of the weather. Heavy downpours and flash floods have been connected to the El Nino and Indian Ocean weather development. The consequences of this phenomenon have been fatal, according to a government official the flooding caused by torrential rain has resulted in over 50 deaths and caused major displacement of nearly 700.000 inhabitants of the city. The heavy rains have destroyed homes, bridges, schools, and roads, leaving people without fundamental needs such as shelter, food, and drinking water. In a horrific turn of events, many graves have also been submerged leaving bodies unearthed and floating around in the water.
At a news conference on Monday the 20th of November, Mohamud Moalim Abdullahi, the director of the Somali Disaster Management Agency stated “The expected rains between 21st and 24th of November … may cause more flooding which could cause death and destruction.” He also mentioned the death toll saying “Fifty people died in the disaster … while 687,235 people were forced to flee their houses,”.
The floods have been an ongoing, stubborn issue in Somalia, with the last heavy rainfall taking place in only May this past year. Many weather warnings highlight that this will not be the last flood that will occur this year. The International Rescue Committee has released in a statement made on Monday, adding that more than 1.7 million people are in imperative need. “With above-normal rainfall expected to persist until the end of 2023, this will exacerbate the already grave humanitarian situation, whereby 4.3 million people, a quarter of the population are expected to face crisis-level hunger or worse by the end of 2023,”
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