Flash floods triggered by torrential rains in southern Somalia have claimed the lives of at least 14 people, including three members of the same family, according to officials.
The floods have damaged or destroyed bridges, roads, and houses, forcing many residents to flee their homes in search of safer ground.
The incident occurred in the town of Baardhere in Jubaland state, where victims were trapped across a bridge swept up by the floods.
The district commissioner, Mohamed Weli Yusuf told reporters:
“Most of the casualties were caused after the victims were trapped across a bridge in the town Thursday evening which was swept up in the floods.
“It was very difficult to rescue these people because of the time the incident happened and the lack of resources in the town.”
The early start of the April-June rainy season has brought relief to areas suffering from drought, but the UN’s humanitarian response agency OCHA warns of the risk of an increase in diseases such as cholera.
Somalia is vulnerable to climate change, with extreme weather events increasing in frequency and intensity.
The region has been experiencing the worst drought in four decades, causing millions of livestock deaths, destroyed crops, and displacing over one million people.