Tropical Cyclone Gati, which made landfall on 22 November in Puntland’s Bari region in Somalia, has displaced 70,000 people, the UN says.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in news dispatch that the heavy rains and strong winds triggered flash floods along coastal and inland areas.
The hardest hit were 13 villages in the region.
Through its media wing, Reliefweb, the UN agency quoting local authorities, said eight people have been killed and an unknown number injured.
In Xaafuun and Hurdiya villages, about 15,000 people have been displaced to higher grounds within their neighbourhoods.
Massive damage to property and roads is reported. Telecommunication services have also been affected, especially in Xaafuun, Hurdiya and Baarmadowe.
In addition, shipping and fishing activities along the coastal areas of Bari and the Gulf of Aden have been disrupted, Reliefweb said in a situation update.
An estimated 30 fishermen who were at sea before the cyclone alert was issued were yet to be accounted for by Monday, 23 November.
The FAO-Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) warned that the severity of the storm could increase as it passes over Somalia.
According to SWALIM, the storm poses an immediate threat to the shipping lane that links Somalia and the Gulf states.
Rapid assessments are being planned to determine actual needs and humanitarian partners are mobilising prepositioned stocks to assist affected people.
Local authorities and humanitarian partners are mobilising resources to assist people who have been hardest hit by the storm.
Humanitarian partners and Puntland authorities are planning responses beginning with a rapid assessment of needs in the affected areas.
In Somaliland, the National Disaster Preparedness and Food Reserve Authority has circulated precautionary messages and coastal guards are on stand by in case of evacuation.
In the coastal areas of Galmudug, local authorities and humanitarian partners are monitoring the situation.
Cases of Sexual Violence Reported in Tigray – UN Envoy
The United Nations (UN) has revealed that serious allegations of sexual violence are being reported in Tigray, northern Ethiopia.
Pramila Pattern, a Mauritian-British barrister and UN envoy on sexual violence in conflict, said the reports included a high number of alleged rapes in Mekelle, Tigray’s capital.
Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) seized control of Mekelle from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) on 28 November after several weeks of fighting.
“There are also disturbing reports of individuals allegedly forced to rape members of their own family, under threats of imminent violence,” Ms Patten said in a statement.
“Some women have also reportedly been forced by military elements to have sex in exchange for basic commodities.
“While medical centres have indicated an increase in the demand for emergency contraception and testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which is often an indicator of sexual violence in conflict.
“In addition, there are increasing reports of sexual violence against women and girls in a number of refugee camps.”
She called on those parties involved in the hostilities “to commit to a zero-tolerance policy for crimes of sexual violence”.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a ground and air offensive on 4 November to oust the region’s ruling party, after its troops captured federal military bases.
He declared victory in Tigray after a month’s conflict, but fugitive TPLF leaders vowed to continue the fight.
COVID-19: Kenya Airways Suspends Flights to 2 European Hubs
Kenya Airways said on Friday it has suspended flights to two major European hubs following the introduction of new regulations as a result of a new variant of the coronavirus.
The Airline said the suspension of the flights is temporary.
The service suspension affects flights to France – Charles de Gaulle Airport and the Netherlands – Schiphol Airport through the month of February 2021.
“The temporary suspension is due to the new COVID-19 regulations in Europe that have resulted in depressed demand,” the airline said in a statement.
The airline expects to resume regular services to France on 3 March, 2021, and to the Netherlands on 7 March, 2021.
The airline said the resumption of the flights will be communicated. “We will keep customers updated in case of any changes to these resumption plans,” the airline added.
KQ said customers who had booked their flights to these two destinations, would be provided with alternative flight options.
15-Day COVID-19 Lockdown: Rwanda Distributes Food to Vulnerable Families
Following its decision to lockdown Kigali, its capital, the Rwanda authorities have begun the distribution of COVID-19 palliatives to vulnerable families in affected by the restriction.
News Central reports that the Rwandan government had, on Monday, imposed a 15-day lockdown on Kigali to curb the spread coronavirus after a surge in cases in the capital.
All movements outside homes require an approved permit from the police, except for essential service providers.
However, to help some 3,000 families – identified as the most vulnerable – cope with the lockdown the government is distributing food rations to households.
Local and international reports said that as of Thursday evening households have started receiving sacks of rice, maize flour and beans.
Some 3,000 families have been identified as the most vulnerable. The city has a population of about one million people.
There have been concerns that hundreds of thousands of residents who live hand to mouth would face hunger during the lockdown.
The authorities have assured that food will reach the most vulnerable, as well as poor Covid-19 patients being treated at home.
The rations were being delivered by volunteers who had tested negative before the programme started, city officials said.
A free phone line is available for requests from “those who want and merit the food aid to be delivered at their doorsteps”.
On Thursday Rwanda reported nine Covid-19 deaths, the highest daily fatalities so far, and 310 new cases.
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