News / Africa

Officials Fear Somalia Cyclone Death Toll May Reach 300

Eyl, Somalia
Eyl, Somalia
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid