Wednesday May 23, 2018
MOGADISHU, May 23 (Xinhua) --
At least 25 people were killed and 27 others missing after tropical
cyclone Sagar caused heavy rains and flooding in Somaliland in northern
Somaliland presidency that released figures on Tuesday said 12 have
been injured, including several children, while the death toll is
expected to rise further.
According to the presidency, some 167,250 families living along the coastal strip had been affected by the floods.
International charity Save the Children warned that the cyclone could
make the situation for children even more critical, exposing them to
greater food shortages, displacement and water-borne diseases.
The powerful tropical cyclone with winds in excess of 120 km/hour and heavy rain landed in Somalia on Friday.
According to the charity, Sagar tore through the coastal north of the country, destroying homes and livelihoods in its wake.
"Initial reports also indicate the loss of a large number of
livestock with at least 700 farms destroyed. Livestock and farming are
the main sources of livelihoods for pastoralist families in the area,"
the charity said in a statement.
Mukhtar Muhammed, Save the Children's Area Representative for
Somaliland, said they are extremely concerned about the safety of
children and communities in the affected areas.
"This is the worst cyclone we have ever seen in Somaliland. Huge
parts of the affected areas remain inaccessible as a result of flooding
and many families are cut off from the outside world," Muhammed said.
According to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA), the rainfall was the heaviest Somalia has seen in over 30 years.
The self-declared republic of Somaliland has been trapped in a
protracted drought for the past five years and is suffering severe food
shortages as supply stores and food markets have been destroyed or
washed away due to the extreme weather.
Somaliland's two main ports, Hargeisa Airport and Berbera Seaport,
which are vital to the delivery of aid to the region, remain closed due
to the damage, said the presidency.
"As a result, agencies are warning of food shortages for the next few
weeks, potentially putting thousands of children's lives at risk,
particularly those who are already food insecure," said the charity.
"Somaliland is home to some of the most vulnerable children on the
planet. More than 4 million people, half of them children, don't know
where their next meal is coming from. This cyclone is affecting families
who have already lost so much. What was already a critical situation
for children is now likely to get worse," Muhammed said.
The cyclone comes at a time when the region has yet to recover from a
five-year drought that has destroyed livelihoods and left people
entirely dependent on humanitarian support.
In January, Somaliland issued a special appeal for humanitarian
support for specific regions that were on the brink of famine and are
now reeling from the effects of Cyclone Sagar.