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November 11, 2013

Officials: Up to 100 Killed in Somalia Cyclone

by VOA News

Officials in Somalia's Puntland region say scores of people have died in a cyclone that has battered the area for the past three days.

The cyclone, known as 03A, made landfall on Saturday but residents say the highest winds came late Sunday, causing most of the casualties.

Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole tells VOA that officials are still trying to learn the full extent of the damage.

"Telecommunication is cut off and we don't have the full details," he said, "but from what we have gathered so far the death toll is nearly 100. We have declared a state of emergency, and we have set up an emergency and rescue committee in response to this tragedy caused by the heavy rains and cold winds, which are still ongoing."

Witnesses say the worst-hit areas are Cape Guardufui in northeastern Puntland and the town of Eyl. They say winds and flooding have destroyed many homes in the region.