9 killed, state of emergency after a year's worth of rain hits Djibouti in just 48 hours

9 killed, state of emergency after a year's worth of rain hits Djibouti in just 48 hours

Nine people have been killed in floods in Djibouti City, Djibouti, after almost a year's worth of rain fell in 48 hours to November 21, 2019. The government has since declared a state of emergency.

News and information agency, Agence Djiboutienne d'Information (ADI), said 140 mm (5.5 inches) of rain fell in the capital city in two days.

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the average annual rainfall in the city is around 164 mm (6.4 inches).

Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) reported that about 30 000 households have been affected, and infrastructure and establishments have been damaged.

Among the nine fatalities, five were members of the same family who were killed after their house collapsed during torrential rain. The tragedy took place in Balbala, a southern suburb of Djibouti City, west of Ambouli River.

The European Union has activated its Copernicus emergency mapping service which uses "satellite imagery and other geospatial data to provide free of charge mapping service in cases of natural disasters, human-made emergency situations and humanitarian crises throughout the world," as stated on its website. One delineation map has also already been produced.

A regional rapid response expert from DG ECHO has been deployed to Djibouti.

World Health Organization (WHO) representative Dr. Ahmed Zouiten said the agency has mobilized its teams to extend relief and support to the victims.

Featured image credit: @rtdeledjibouti/Twitter

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