BELEDWEYNE (KAAB TV) – A devastating flood along the Shabelle River in the suburbs of Beledweyne, the capital of central Somalia region of Hiiraan, has claimed the lives of at least eight people in the past 24 hours, according to the Beledweyne district administration.
Mayor Nadar Tabaax expressed concern over the slow emergency response, leaving vulnerable individuals stranded amidst the rising floodwaters.
The disaster has resulted in significant property losses and the largest displacement witnessed in the region in recent years.
“Emergency rescue efforts were slow in dealing with the situation caused by the flood, leaving some of the most vulnerable individuals in the middle of the flooding,” Mayor Nadar stated.
Thousands, including those from displacement camps, have sought refuge in El Jaalle area near the airport. However, many families still find themselves in precarious situations, gathered in high places within the neighborhoods as the river continues to swell.
The mayor urgently called for assistance, stating, “Immediate aid is required for the people of Beledweyne who have been severely affected by the floods.”
The Baledweyne district administration has reached out to both the federal government and HirShabelle, appealing for urgent humanitarian aid to support the affected population.
In a distressing parallel, the Shabelle River has also flooded parts of the Buulaburte district in Hiiraan region.
The flood, hitting the Indhakeel neighborhood, has led to the displacement of hundreds of families.
Notably, this marks the second occurrence of the Shabelle River flooding in Buulaburte district within a year.
The district’s already challenging living conditions were exacerbated by the isolation resulting from attacks by extremist groups at the end of 2022, severely impacting the district’s infrastructure, including a poorly maintained bridge.
Hiraan region grapples with annual floods that inflict significant damage on the population, especially in Beledweyne city.
The call for urgent assistance remains critical as communities face the immediate aftermath of the flooding, seeking support from government bodies and humanitarian organizations.