Widespread damage as Tropical Cyclone "Pawan" makes landfall in Puntland, Somalia

Widespread damage as Tropical Cyclone

Tropical Cyclone "Pawan" made landfall in the Puntland State of Somalia on December 7, 2019, with wind gusts reaching 80 km/h (50 mph). It hit the coastal city of Eyl in Nugal Region, according to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management. The severe weather has resulted in damaged homes, ravaged crops, and two fatalities.

One person was killed when his fishing boat capsized. The other victim was reported in Eyl, according to local media.

"The extreme weather conditions have led to the destruction of property and infrastructure including roads, buildings, and boats," said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The northeastern parts of Somalia had been suffering for two days since the storm touched down.

Furthermore, the agency reported that most stations in the affected area recorded high amounts of rainfall. Somali Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) said there were areas in Puntland that registered "more than 3 times their long term mean annual rainfall during the storm."

A total of 260 mm (9.8 inches) was recorded in Eyl, while Dongoroyo received 198 mm (7.8 inches) in two days. Among other notable amounts were 85 mm (3.3 inches) in Garowe, 80 mm (3.1 inches) in Hashbahale, 75 mm (2.9 inches) in Iskushuban, 52 mm (2.0 inches) in Buuhoodle, and 48 mm (1.9 inches) in Qardo.

The Eyl river burst its banks, sending raging waters across streets and roads. Images shared on social media showed a few vehicles submerged. Around 50 homes and 200 farms were destroyed. There were also major flight disruptions from and to Garowe airport.

"Currently, flash floods still threaten many areas following the heavy downpour that is still being experienced in some areas. The rains are expected to spread further inland to many areas within Somaliland, Puntland, and central regions," FAO warned. Residents have fled their homes as a precaution.

Pawan is the eighth named storm of the 2019 North Indian Ocean cyclone season.

Featured image credit: @Magdashi3/Twitter

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