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50,000 Ethiopians displaced by floods

Ethiopia, home to 80 million people, is chronically hit by floods and droughts and is currently experiencing what UN and other relief organisations have described as a critical humanitarian situation. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Addis Ababa (AFP) Nov 19, 2008
Dramatic floods in the eastern Somali region of Ethiopia have killed at least three people and displaced more than 50,000 since the start of the month, aid sources said Wednesday.

"At least 52,000 people have abandoned their homes in Ethiopia's Somali region after the Wade Shabelle and Genale rivers burst their banks following heavy rains," the United Nations' humanitarian news agency IRIN reported.

The agency said heavy rains fell on the region for six days from November 2.

The report said that "36,888 people were displaced and three killed in the worst-affected woreda (a small district), Kelafo, in Gode."

Government officials said assessment teams had been sent to the affected areas.

"The floodings is there, we have sent an assessment team to this area. Such things are said, but we need to confirm. We are waiting for the report and confirmation," agriculture ministry spokesman Taregne Tsigie told AFP.

Ethiopia, home to 80 million people, is chronically hit by floods and droughts and is currently experiencing what UN and other relief organisations have described as a critical humanitarian situation.

Meanwhile, thousands of people in northern Uganda have been displaced from their homes because of floods caused by heavy rains.

The precise number of people displaced by flooding is difficult to estimate because a large territory is affected, but the situation is undoubtedly urgent, Minister for Disaster Preparedness Tarsis Kabwegyere told AFP.

"We need information so we can get assistance to them quickly," he said.

Uganda's Daily Monitor newspaper on Tuesday put the number of displaced at 15,000, based on reports from local leaders around Uganda's northern ring.

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Vietnam PM orders alert as flood toll hits 82
Hanoi (AFP) Nov 5, 2008
Vietnam's premier ordered authorities to step up emergency measures after floods that by Wednesday had left 82 people dead in Hanoi and regions of the north and centre, with more rain forecast this week.

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