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Hundreds of thousands displaced following flash flooding in Somalia

Flooding in Somalia   -  
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Around 200,000 people have been displaced due to flash flooding in central Somalia as the Shabelle River burst its banks and submerged roads.

Residents of Beledweyne town in Hiran region were forced out of their homes as heavy rainfall caused water levels to rise sharply.

Sitting in a makeshift tent, Fartun Ali (not her real name) said she and her eight children fled their home in the middle of the night when the waters hit the town four days ago.

"Whenever the river breaks the banks, we flee. It is the fifth time we’ve fled and come here as internally displaced people," she said.

The region's deputy governor, Ali Osman Hussein, said the number of people displaced could still rise, adding that they "are doing all we can to help those who are affected".

As families collect water a water point in the camp, residents of the town described how they were relieved to have escaped with their lives.

Many of them said they could only take the children. All their belongings were left behind. Officials say only 3 people died in the flooding.

The disaster comes on the heels of a record drought that has left millions of Somalis on the brink of famine, with the troubled nation also battling an Islamist insurgency for decades.

Experts say extreme weather events like this one are happening with increased frequency and intensity due to climate change, and Africa, which contributes the least to global warming, is bearing the brunt.

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