At least 15 people died in northern Somalia after heavy rains caused by Tropical Cyclone Sagar wreaked havoc in the Horn of Africa over the weekend.
“In the last 24 hours, heavy rains killed 15 people in the districts of Lughaya and Baki,” Abdirahman Ahmed Ali, governor of the Awdal area, told reporters on Sunday.
The cyclone slammed into a region that has suffered three years of drought. The lack of rain means the ground is almost devoid of vegetation, making it particularly prone to flash flooding.
Most of the destruction has been felt in the Puntland and Somaliland regions of the East African country.
The situation is further complicated by an ongoing conflict between forces from the two regions. An armed standoff in Sool had displaced almost 10,000 people before the cyclone’s arrival.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said thousands of people had been affected by the flooding, displacement and the destruction of infrastructure in Sagar’s wake.
“The cyclone has worsened the humanitarian situation in the two states and disputed regions, which have experienced protracted drought dating back to 2015, leaving them particularly prone to flash flooding in the direct aftermath of massive downpours,” it said in a statement.
Mogadishu has been hit by heavy rains, causing major disruption as roads were washed away and the government relocated tens of families after their homes were flooded.