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Floods: at least 111 dead and 700,000 displaced in the Horn of Africa - NGO

Floods: at least 111 dead and 700,000 displaced in the Horn of Africa - NGO
Residents struggle to cross a flooded street due to heavy rains caused by tropical storm Noel,   -  
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Ariana Cubillos/AP


At least 111 people, including 16 children, have died and 700,000 have been displaced by floods caused in recent weeks by torrential rains in the Horn of Africa, the NGO Save the Children announced on Thursday.

The El Niño climatic phenomenon is amplifying the rainy season in the region, affecting Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya in particular.

"Incessant rainfall in Kenya's northern counties and capital Nairobi has caused widespread flooding, displacing an estimated 36,000 people and killing 46 since the rainy season began less than a month ago," said Save the Children in a statement, adding that 32 people had also died in Somalia and 33 in Ethiopia.

The British NGO also urged the international community to take action in response to "massive displacement" in all three countries.

The Horn of Africa is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change, and extreme weather events are occurring with increasing frequency and intensity.

Since late 2020, Somalia and parts of Ethiopia and Kenya have been hit by the worst drought in the region in 40 years.

El Niño, generally associated with rising temperatures, droughts in some parts of the world and heavy rains in others, is set to continue until April.

This meteorological phenomenon has already wreaked havoc in East Africa.

From October 1997 to January 1998, gigantic floods following torrential rains caused by El Niño killed more than 6,000 people in five countries in the region.

By the end of 2019, at least 265 people had died and tens of thousands were displaced during two months of incessant rainfall in several East African countries (Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda).