Sudden Flood Displaces At Least 30,000 Residents in Afar State

By Staff Reporter

Flood-Afar-EthiopiaAugust 9, 2020 ( -- A sudden flood caused by heavy downpour and overflow of the Awash River has displaced at least 30,000 residents in Afar regional state of Ethiopia.

The region’s disaster prevention and food security coordinating committee said the flood was severe in the region’s Asayita, Afambo, Dubti, and Mile districts.

No human causality is reported yet but the flood has washed away thousands of cattle chiefly goats.

The residents in those districts were going to nearby towns leaving their cattle there as the heavy downpour and flood continued.

The federal government has airlifted the most vulnerable people using a helicopter. Not quite a lot of survivors were airlifted as the carrying capacity of the helicopter was limited to 15, eyewitnesses told

The region’s Disaster Prevention and Food Security Bureau head Mohammed Hussien said the bureau has so far relocated 400 people from Gelealo and Karbuda districts to schools in Asayita town.

Mohammed attributed the flood to the release of huge amounts of water from Koka, Tendaho, Beseka, and Kesem dams that are located in the upper streams. He said at least 30,000 residents have been displaced due to the flood.

“What happened is a sudden flood occurred here in Asayita and the water covered the whole area and houses and cattle all have submerged,” the eyewitnesses said.

Last week, the Ethiopian National Meteorological Agency had identified those towns as the flood-prone areas.

The area is prone to flood due to two major reasons experts say. One is the overflow of the Awash River which crosses quite lots of towns and the second when heavy rain occurs in the region.

Early Warning and Emergency Response Director, Aydahis Yasin said the over flooding occurred in six districts of the regional state, following the heavy rainfall this rainy season.

Out of the 32,000 displaced persons, 17,450 lived in the five localities of Asayta district. The government has been providing relief for over 1,100 in two localities of the same district.

Some 1,266 persons living in Kolodura and Geleali localities have been surrounded by water since last week due to the flood.

According to the director, some 63,000 people are vulnerable to flood while 44,000 are also at risk of displacement in the lower and middle Awash of Afar Regional State.

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