Over 30 killed as cyclone hits Horn of Africa

People evacuate their homes through waist-deep flood water in Mogadishu. Net photo

More than 30 people were killed and dozens of others are still missing after a tropical cyclone and heavy rains hit the Horn of Africa over the weekend.

Cyclone Sagar slammed into the Horn Saturday and Sunday, and local officials say Sagar was the strongest storm ever recorded in the area.

Mogadishu Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman told VOA Somali that the storm killed at least six people. More than than 300 homes in the Somali capital were under water following heavy rains.

Authorities in the self-declared Republic of Somaliland confirmed at least 25 people had died in the Awdal, Sahel and Salal regions. Most of the victims were be swept away by flash floods, residents said.

An official in the Salal region, Abdi Abdullahi Elmi, told VOA Somali that the death toll could rise as rescue teams try to reach remote areas of the region affected by the rains.

A statement from the office of Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi said 12 people were injured while 27 were still missing.

The statement said 669,000 people have been affected by the cyclone, large numbers of crops were destroyed while 80 per cent of the livestock in Somaliland were killed. It appealed to the international community for humanitarian support to help those affected.

The Norwegian Refugee Council said more than 10,000 people were displaced in Somaliland, and homes and fishing boats destroyed in Puntland. The NRC also reported the deaths of two people in Djibouti, where it said 20,000 people are affected by flooding.


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