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Heavy rains in Sudan: 14 dead, thousands of homes collapse

August 26 - 2020 EL GEZIRA / SENNAR / TOKAR / KHARTOUM
The streets of Kassala after heavy rains earlier this month (Social media)
The streets of Kassala after heavy rains earlier this month (Social media)

Heavy rainfall in Sudan caused the death of at least 14 people yesterday. People in Tokar in Red Sea state are severely affected by floods. The level of the Blue Nile in Khartoum has risen to its highest level in more than a century.

Eight people died and four others sustained injuries in El Gezira after torrential rains struck the state yesterday. El Gezira Emergency Coordination Committee reported that the homes of 279 families, 15 government facilities and 128 latrines collapsed or were damaged. 52 head of livestock drowned.

In Sennar six people died, according to the Sudanese Red Crescent Society. At least 5,641 houses in the state are affected by the rains and floods, 3,287 of them collapsed completely. Hundreds of livestock died.

In Red Sea state, residents of Tokar and the villages south of the town are surrounded by floodwaters. Activist Mustafa Ibrahim told Radio Dabanga that the road linking Tokar with Port Sudan was cut off three weeks ago. One of the bridges in the town collapsed. He described the conditions in Tokar and the area south of the town as “catastrophic”.

“Many villagers are trapped in the mountains and other higher areas, where they are suffering from the lack of clean drinking water and food,” he reported. “Tokar Hospital is full of patients with diarrhoea, as the people are forced to drink from stagnant floodwater due to the lack of clean drinking water.”

He called on the federal and state authorities to intervene urgently and provide water, food, plastic sheets and other shelter materials for the affected families currently sheltering in schools and in the mountains. He also demanded the development of a mechanism that will protect the area from flooding again.

 

Dams at the Nile rivers (Oxford University)

 

Blue Nile level

The level of the Blue Nile in Khartoum has reached 17.32 metres. This is the highest level since water level recording started more than a century ago.

The former highest level recorded in Khartoum occurred last year on September 1, when the Blue Nile waters reached 17.26 metres. During the 1946 floods, which caused major losses in the country, a level of 17.14 meters was recorded.

The Ministry of Irrigation attributed the high level in the Blue Nile to increased rainfall on the Ethiopian plateau during the past few days. The narrowing of the riverbed due to urban expansion plays a role as well.

The ministry called on people living along the banks of the Blue Nile and the Nile to take precautions to preserve their lives and property.

The Civil Defence Operations Chamber of northern Sudan’s River Nile state has alerted all residents, especially those living on the banks of the Nile and Atbara rivers, and the areas affected by floods in previous years, about rising waters.


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