Heavy floods in Sudan destroyed over 14 700 houses, claimed 114 lives since early June

Heavy floods in Sudan destroyed over 14 700 houses, claimed 114 lives since early June

As of August 16, 2016, heavy rains and severe flooding since early June have completely destroyed 14 713 houses and claimed the lives of at least 114 people in the African country of Sudan. The affected states include Kassala, Sennar, South Kordofan, West Kordofan and North Darfur. The worst affected state was Kassala.

Thousands of people in Sudan's eastern state of Kassala, bordering Eritrea, evacuated their homes during the night of August 14 after the river Gash burst its banks, entirely flooding several villages. According to locals, the floodwaters in villages exceeded 1.5 meters (~5 feet). Around 8 000 houses have been destroyed and at least 83 people killed. The floodwaters have also cut off the main highway between east Sudan and the capital, Khartoum. More than 29 900 people have been affected across the state.

Authorities said water levels were also rising on the Blue Nile along the border with Ethiopia after continuous rainfall there. The Blue Nile flows to capital Khartoum where it meets the White Nile and they become the Nile which flows into Egypt.

Video credit CCTV Africa

As of August 16, 2016, heavy rain and flooding since early June have affected 161 730 people, completely destroyed 14 713 houses in many parts of Sudan, and claimed the lives of 114 people. 10 861 houses have been partially destroyed, according to the Government of Sudan and partners.

Average to above average rainfall is expected across much of the country between August and October 2016, according to Sudan Meteorological Authority.

The predominant types of floods, common in Sudan during the rainy season (~June to September/October), are localized floods caused by exceptionally heavy rains, and widespread floods caused by the overflow of the river Nile, its tributaries, Gash River and other rivers. Though flash floods are generally short in duration, these events can cause major damage to villages and urban and agricultural areas located in catchment and drainage zones.

Nile floods usually originate from heavy rainfall over catchment areas of the Ethiopian plateau, which causes unpredictable surges in the flow of the Blue Nile.

The worst flooding to hit Sudanese capital in 25 years occurred during August 2013. The flooding affected tens of thousands of people and killed about 50 people.

Featured image credit: UN OCHA Sudan (via Twitter)

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