30 people dead in Kenya and Somalia as heavy rains and flash floods displace thousands


NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Heavy rains and flash flooding have killed at least 30 people and displaced tens of thousands in Kenya and Somalia, aid agencies reported Monday.

In Somalia, the federal government declared a national emergency after the extreme weather killed at least 14 people and destroyed homes, roads and bridges. Emergency and rescue workers were trying to reach an estimated 2,400 residents trapped by flood waters in the Luuq district of southern Somalia’s Jubaland state.

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The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned of a high risk of flooding along the Juba and Shabelle rivers and called for the evacuation of people living along the entire stretch of the Juba.

The heavy rains in Somalia follow four consecutive years of drought that pushed the country to the brink of famine.

Somalia has long suffered from lack of humanitarian aid. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh, File)

In neighboring Kenya, the Kenya Red Cross said the death toll had risen to 15 since the heavy rains began Friday, with the port city of Mombasa and the northeastern counties of Mandera and Wajir the worst affected.

As of Sunday, flash floods had destroyed 241 acres of agricultural farmland and killed 1,067 livestock animals, the Kenya Red Cross reported.

Weather forecasters in Kenya started warning in September that the country would face heavier than usual rains during the short rainy season between October and December. President William Ruto contradicted the forecast, telling Kenyans that the experts had revised their advice and that “there would be no devastating El Nino flooding.”

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Heavy rains and flooding have also been reported in the Somali region of Ethiopia where thousands have been forced to flee their homes after houses and farmlands were destroyed by flood waters.



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