Hundreds dead after 'once in a century flood' event across Horn of Africa

People cross the swollen River Tana, in Kenya, after flooding in the Horn of Africa region.
People cross the swollen River Tana, in Kenya, after flooding in the Horn of Africa region. Credit: AP

At least 130 people have died across the Horn of Africa region after heavy rains triggered what has been described as a once in a century flood event.

Somalia has bore the brunt of the flooding, with at least 51 people killed across the country, according to the National Disaster Management Agency.

A further half a million people have been displaced since heavy rains began falling in October, the agency added.

Thousands of people remain cut off from aid after roads and bridges were washed away.

The Somali federal government declared a state of emergency last month, following extreme weather which was exacerbated by the naturally occurring weather phenomenon El Nino.

Residents are seen in the flooded Kenyan village of Lumshi. Credit: AP

In neighbouring Kenya, flooding has killed more than 50 people and forced at least 30,000 from their homes, the Kenya Red Cross Society said.

The counties of Mandera - which is 20 times larger than greater London - and Wajir were among the worst affected.

And authorities in Ethiopia said that the country's death toll from the floods has reached 30 - including children - after "unrelenting rainfall in the Gambella, Afar and Somali regions".

Scientists say climate change has made weather extremes - such as droughts and floods - worse around the world.

Only several months ago, parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan experienced the worst drought in 40 years, following five failed rainy seasons.

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