Flash floods impact 500,000 in Somalia, U.N. says

May 2 (UPI) — Flash floods throughout Somalia have affected as many as 500,000 people and have displaced 175,000 people from their homes, the United Nations says.

The floods are some of the worst the region has ever seen, the U.N. said in a statement. The water level has exceeded a 50-year return period.

“Internally displaced people remain the most vulnerable to the impact of the flooding with many camps located in low-lying areas,” Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the U.N. Secretary-General, said.

“Humanitarian partners on the ground have prioritized water, sanitation, hygiene, health, shelter and food response in their interventions.”

On Sunday, the World Health Organization delivered medicine and supplies to Belet Weyne, the capital of the HirShabelle province. One of the hardest hit areas, more than 10,000 people were evacuated from there.

Yngvil Foss, the deputy head at the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said all humanitarian actors responded with the means and assets they had available. But the U.N. cautions that more resources are “urgently needed” specifically to help with people who are internally displaced.

Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed visited flood-affected areas Sunday and asked the international community for humanitarian assistance.

On visit to #BeletWeyne, #Somalia’s President @M_Farmaajo appealed to both international & #Somali diaspora communities to help support those effected by the floods. The President assured that action was being taken to address the #humanitarian crisis. UNSOM (@UNSomalia) May 1, 2018