Dozens missing, feared dead after Somali cyclone
SOME 70 people remain missing a fortnight after the deadly Cyclone Sagar ravaged Somalia.
It is believed they are dead, alongside the 49 that were officially declared killed after one of the strongest storms ever recorded in Somalia. Cyclone Sagar, which left an entire year’s worth of rain in a matter of hours, left in its trail death, floods, destruction of farmland and infrastructure.
Thousands of livestock were killed and civilians displaced. Humanitarian agencies said communities in the coastal areas of Somaliland and major portions of Awdal district, as well as some coastal communities in Puntland are still reeling from the impact of the tropical cyclone.
“The impact of the cyclone has affected communities that were still recovering from prolonged drought,” said a local spokesperson of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Governments and aid agencies face an uphill task managing the aftermath of the disaster that directly affected about 168 000 people. Some 277 hectares of land were destroyed in the affected villages. Over 80 per cent of community shelters have been destroyed and 33 schools were affected. Priority needs include food, health services, shelter and nonfood items.
The heavy rains and disturbance of tracks have hindered humanitarians’ ability to access some affected areas. Meanwhile, armed clashes in Tukaraq town in the Sool region has displaced nearly 2 500 households, compounding the humanitarian situation and further hampering assistance.