At least 100 people are feared dead after a tropical cyclone hit the autonomous Puntland State in northeastern Somalia over the weekend.
The cyclone, known as 03A, hit the Eyl, Beyla, Dangorayo and Hafun districts along the eastern coast before moving across to Alula at the tip of the Horn of Africa.
The President of Puntland, Abdirahman Farole, held an emergency meeting in the capital Garowe, as the government declared a state of emergency.
Hundreds of people are reportedly missing, with thousands of livestock lost and fishing boats swept away.
Eyl, about 1,300 km north-east of Mogadishu, was the worst affected area.
“Both the fishing communities and nomadic pastoralists were badly affected,” President Farole told the media at a briefing on Monday, announcing that the Puntland Disaster Management and Rescue Committee was set to respond to the natural disaster.
However, relief sent by agencies and the government is reportedly stuck in parts of the region after heavy rains and flash floods made many areas inaccessible.
Affected residents said that the rain and wind was so intense that houses were submerged.
“Strong tides swept fishing boats to the (Indian) ocean. Even the rain was very cold, affecting all creatures,” said Abdishakur Ahmed Aden, who lives in Eyl, adding that many families were destitute as a result of losing their livestock.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud also appealed for assistance. A statement from his office in Mogadishu issued on Monday read: “My thoughts and prayers are with all the families who have suffered terrible losses after this natural disaster. I call on all Somalis here and in the Diaspora to rally round their brothers and sisters and provide urgent assistance. I also appeal to our friends in the international community to lend their utmost support.”
The Somali Prime Minister and the Speaker of Parliament issued similar statements, urging Somalia’s international partners to respond to the crisis.
Addintinal reporting by Agencies.