Sudden storm kills two, injures 15, south of Hargeisa, Somaliland


(ERGO) – Two people including a four-year old boy were killed and 15 people were injured in sudden heavy downpours and strong winds that wreaked havoc in Salahley and Aw-Barkhadle, south of Hargeisa.

Feysal Ali Sheikh, the director of Somaliland’s disaster preparedness authority, NADFOR, told Radio Ergo the freak weather occurred without warning, leading to much damage.

He reported that 51 houses made of iron-sheets, wood and clay were swept away in the storm.  Among the destroyed houses, 31 were in Salahley, 80 km south of Hargeisa. The people living there have been moved to a local primary school as the students are on break until August.

In Aw-Barkhadle, around 10 families were left homeless and moved to stay with relatives. The local primary school in the area also had its roof battered.

Sallahley hospital, an orphanage, and 18 business stalls were damaged. The hospital’s perimeter wall was blown down but the hospital is still working.

Around 5,000 families live in the Salahley area, while the Aw-barkhle village is inhabited by 500 families. These families are mostly pastoralists.

Amina Mohamed Ise broke her right leg when her house collapsed around here and her three children.

“The rain and wind came suddenly at dusk – it went on for 10 minutes. Our house fell down on us while I was inside with the children,” she said.  Amina is being treated free of charge at the local hospital.

Adan Osman Farah and his family of10 were among those displaced. Their house flooded and two of his children were injured. They are being treated free of charge in Salahley.

Dr Omar Ali, director of Salahley hospital, which is run by Somaliland’s ministry of health, said they received 11 injured patients, some with broken limbs due to the collapse of houses.

The local administration and NADFOR are planning to start reconstructing people’s homes in Salahley and Aw-Barkhadle from Sunday.

The sudden storm comes soon after the tropical cyclone Sagar that caused at least 40 deaths and killed a large number of livestock in Somaliland’s Awdal region.

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