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Death toll from flooding in Somalia climbs to nearly 100

Africa
 In this image from video, residents move through floodwaters in the town of Beledweyne, Somalia, Nov 19, 2023. [AP Photo]

The number of people killed by floods from heavy rains in Somalia has risen to nearly 100, state news agency SONNA said Saturday.

"Somalia's flood death toll climbs to 96," SONNA said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, adding the figure had been confirmed by Mahamuud Moallim, the head of the country's disaster management agency.

Like the rest of east and Horn of Africa, Somalia has been battered by relentless heavy rains that began in October, caused by the El Nino and Indian Ocean Dipole weather phenomena.

Both are climate patterns that impact ocean surface temperatures and cause above-average rainfall.

The flooding has been described as the worst in decades and has displaced about 700,000 people, according to the United Nations.

The intense rains have unleashed widespread flooding across the country, triggering displacement and exacerbating an existing humanitarian crisis caused by years of insurgency.

In neighboring Kenya, the floods have killed 76 people so far, according to the Kenyan Red Cross, and also unleashed widespread displacement, destruction of roads and bridges and left many residents without shelter, drinking and food supplies, according to the charity Doctors Without Borders.

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