News / Africa

Officials Fear Somalia Cyclone Death Toll May Reach 300

Eyl, Somalia
Eyl, Somalia
VOA News
Officials in Somalia's Puntland region say they fear as many as 300 people have died after a cyclone brought days of high winds and flooding rains.
 
The government said on Wednesday that many people remain missing following the storm, which made landfall Saturday and destroyed a large number of homes thoroughout the area.
 
Cape Guardufui, in northeastern Puntland, and the town of Eyl were among the areas hit hardest by the storm.
 
The government has declared a state of emergency and asked for international aid to help those in need of food, water, shelter and medicine.
 
Latest rainfall data show the cyclone has subsided after flooding several coastal towns and the Puntland capital, Garowe, though heavy rains are still expected inland.
 
“So far we have confirmed the storm killed 140 people. We are afraid the death toll may reach 300 because many people are still missing. Roads have been cut and the only access to those areas is by air,” Abdullahi Ahmed, Puntland's interior minister, told media late on Tuesday.
 
Somalia's President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, whose country is struggling to rebuild after two decades of civil war, has pledged to send $1 million dollars to the storm-hit region.
 
Flash Floods
 
Puntland said in August it had cut ties with Mogadishu, accusing it of refusing to share power and foreign aid.
 
The region spans the north of Somalia and has largely escaped the worst of the country's upheaval over the last 20 years. Foreign powers advocating a loose federal political system for Somalia have held Puntland up as a possible model.
 
The cyclone's heavy torrential rains caused flash floods that led to the loss of a great deal of livestock and many fishing boats, which were swept into the Indian Ocean.
 
The FAO said about 65 percent of Somalia's population depends on livestock, a sector that has seen sharp growth since Arab Gulf States lifted a nine-year ban on Somali livestock exports. Half of these exports pass through the port of Bosasso, in Puntland.
 
Famine has added to Somalia's woes in the last three years.
 
“Knowing that livestock and fisheries are key livelihood activities in the affected regions, we anticipate the storm to heavily hurt coastal communities,” said Rudi Van Aaken, the acting head of FAO in Somalia, pledging help for the survivors.
Some information in this report was contributed by Reuters.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid