Once-in-a-century flooding devastates Somalia • Earth.com

Once-in-a-century flooding devastates Somalia

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features devastating flooding in East Africa, where heavy rain fell in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya in October and November 2023. 

“The floods came in the wake of the most prolonged drought on record, which left millions of people food insecure between 2020 and 2023. Since October 1, flooding has killed more than 100 people and displaced more than 700,000, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs,” said NASA.

According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), rainfall totals have been double to quadruple the average for southern and western Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya since October 1.

“Excessive rainfall in the highlands of Ethiopia and Somalia in late October and early November raised the levels of the Shebelle River until it filled on November 11,” said NASA.

“Subsequent rain caused the river to spill out of its banks in central Somalia and submerge the surrounding area, including the town of Beledweyne (Belet Weyne). Flooding in the town forced an estimated 250,000 people (90 percent of the population) out of their homes.”

In western Somalia, the Juba River overflowed and submerged croplands and roads in the town of Luuq. The flooding swept away a key bridge in the city of Bardere. In the central city of Galkayo, the rushing water swept through a cemetery and left bodies floating through the streets.

The false-colored image was captured by the OLI (Operational Land Imager) on Landsat 8.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

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