At least 130 dead in floods in Sudan

Floods in Sudan have killed at least 134 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes during the ongoing rainy season in the northeast African country, police said Thursday.

Heavy rains typically fall between May and October in Sudan, which faces severe flooding every year, destroying property, infrastructure and crops.

The National Civil Defense Council said the floods had killed a total of 134 people, injured 120 others and damaged or destroyed more than 128,000 homes so far this rainy season. Water can be seen engulfing villages and roads in footage of the flooding broadcast on state television.

People took shelter in makeshift tents made from tattered fabrics after floodwaters washed away mud-brick houses. Last month, the government declared a state of emergency due to flooding in six of Sudan’s 18 states. The death toll this season has risen from 112 at the start of the month.

In the latest figures, the highest number of deaths occurred in central North Kordofan state, while the highest number of house collapses were recorded in southern White Nile state. The main causes of death were the collapse of houses, drowning and electrocution.

The official SUNA news agency said a hospital was badly damaged due to flooding in a village in eastern Kassala state.

“The village is currently surrounded by water which threatens the collapse of other houses and facilities.” The United Nations, citing government figures, said this week that the floods had so far affected 286,400 people.

The eastern states of Gedaref and Kassala, North and South Kordofan states, Nile state and the Darfur region have been among the worst affected, according to UNICEF, the UN children’s agency.

The UN has warned that this year’s floods could affect up to 460,000 people — far more than the average of 388,600 people affected each year between 2017 and 2021. The disaster comes as Sudan reels from the shock of worsening political unrest and a spiraling economic crisis exacerbated by last year’s military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

(AFP)

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