Deadly flooding hits Praia after 3 months' worth of rain in just one day, Cabo Verde

Deadly flooding hits Praia after 3 months' worth of rain in just one day, Cabo Verde

Heavy rains triggered flash flooding in Praia, Cabo Verde, on Saturday, September 12, 2020, resulting in property damage in several districts and one casualty. The city recorded 80 mm (3 inches) of rain in a 24-hour period, which is nearly three times its average rain for the month of September.

Flooding hit Praia and other parts of the Santiago Island, blocking major roads. 

The government reported damage in several districts, including Achada Mato, Fonton, Jamaica, and Sao Paulo, particularly to farmlands, cars, buildings, and bridges.

The floods came after Praia received 80 mm (3 inches) of rain in 24 hours, which was three month's worth of rain. The average rainfall the city receives for the month of September is 29 mm (1.1 inches).

The government reported at least one casualty, who was identified as a six-month-old infant. "The baby was swept away and died immediately," said Renaldo Rodrigues, the president of the West African country’s National Civil Protection Service.

Cabo Verde’s Interior Minister Paulo Rocha said the government promptly held an emergency meeting on the same day to assess the damage.

"After convening the Crisis Office yesterday morning, the Executive received the necessary information to set up an emergency program, which is primarily aimed at clearing the roads, cleaning and rebuilding the infrastructure that has been hit, particularly the walls and others."

"The absolute priority is to protect people and their assets."

Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva told the press that there will be an intervention to put the city back to its normal state, "and only then, [there will be] more structuring interventions that will require more preparation time to compose a good program, with the mobilization of resources."

The PM added that the government will have more programs aimed at making the city more resilient to heavy rains and floods.

Prior to the flooding, the National Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics (INMG) issued severe weather warnings on September 11.

INMG explained that the heavy rainfall was a result of "a tropical wave that is associated with a large area of convection producing showers and thunderstorms."

More heavy rains were reported in Mindelo, Sao Vicente, from September 13 to 14.

Featured image credit: Meteo Trás os Montes - Portugal

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