Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Father loses his five children and their mother to Somali cyclone

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Reports from Puntland, a semiautonomous region in North-eastern Somalia, indicate that the disaster caused by cyclone 03A that hit the region this week is more devastating than originally thought.

On Thursday, a father, Ahmed Hassan, told the BBC Somali Service that he lost five children and their mother.

“I had six kids in my house, but floods on Monday took them all plus their mother,” said Hassan.

Other media outlets reported that all the five kids that perished were Hassan’s own children together with their mother.

“A niece survived and I later found the body of one of my sons,” said Hassan. He added, “I believe that the forceful floods took my family members away.”

The anguished man said that his family was based at a low-lying area and that he was away at the time the cyclone hit his area.

Hassan stated that his own father lost many animals including camels.

Reports trickling from the worst hit areas that include Eyl, Bander Bayla, Gara’ad and Hafun, depict that the zones are still inaccessible. Even the communication is poor as most antennas were shattered by the strong winds that bettered the area over 4 days.


The Puntland authority said on Tuesday that known death toll was 143 and projected to go as far up as 300.

Mohamoud Aideed Dirir, Puntland Minister of Planning, the Chairman of Puntland’s newly appointed Emergency Committee, stated:
“Rescue efforts only reached about ten per cent of the affected areas.”

He added, “the roads are simply cut off, especially a bridge that links the main cities in Puntland. We need help from Puntland’s friends and partners.”

More than 50,000 people are assumed to have been displaced by the cyclone while five thousand are reckoned to be stranded in flooded areas.

Some of the areas hit by the cyclone in Puntland are the same that were affected by a Tsunami that in December 2004 originating from Sumatra Island in Indonesia.

The Tsunami then killed tens of people, damaged villages and devastated the livelihoods of many coastal families.

Typhoon Haiyan that hit South-east Asia, especially the Philippines and the Cyclone 03A that affected the northern regions of Somalia may result from the adverse conditions created by climate change.

Beckie Malay, a Global Council member of GCAP (Global Call to Action against Poverty) stated in an email circulated on Monday, “Climate change is killing my country (Philippines).”

Malay was reportedly reacting to the devastating Typhoon Haiyan, destroying homes and communities, killing thousands of people and impoverishing many more.

Advocacy groups believe that excessive carbon emissions affect countries like Somalia and Philippines that are not responsible for climate change, but their people suffer from the consequences.

Engineer Aidarous Ahmed Hassan, a Fishery Advisor in Mogadishu, told the Nation that climate change was indeed responsible for the highly unpredictable weather conditions.

“World leaders must take the right steps to reduce the effects of global warming and climate changes, especially on poorer communities in the developing world,” said Eng Hassan on Wednesday.

Sheikh Bashir Ahmed Salad, the Chairman of the Supreme Religious Council in Somalia, urged the nation to help the people affected by the cyclone in the northern regions of Somalia as well as those affected by floods from Shabelle River in Middle Shabelle region in Central Somalia.


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