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The death toll from the cyclone that hit Somaliland has now reached over 50, according to government officials in the self-declared east African nation.

The vice president of the country, Abdirahman Abdullahi Ismail told reporters that the death toll was likely to rise since many more people have gone missing.

The tropical cyclone, Sagar caused by heavy rains over the weekend has led to deaths and destruction of property.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) estimated that the disaster has affected some 669,000 people in Somaliland.

About Cyclone Sagar

Cyclonic Storm Sagar was the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in Somaliland and Somalia in recorded history, and the first named cyclone of the 2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. Forming on May 16 east of the Guardafui Channel, Sagar intensified and gradually organized. The storm turned to the west-southwest and traversed the entirety of the Gulf of Aden, affecting Yemen and making landfall over Somaliland. It is the westernmost landfalling cyclone on record in the North Indian Ocean, surpassing Tropical Storm 01A of 1984, which took a nearly identical track. Sagar weakened into a remnant low on May 21.

The storm first affected Yemen, brushing the coast with heavy rainfall and gusty winds. One person was killed when her house caught fire. In Somalia, Sagar dropped a years’ worth of rainfall, or around 200 mm (7.9 in). The rains caused deadly flash flooding that washed away bridges, homes, and thousands of farm animals. Sagar killed 50 people in Somaliland and 3 in Puntland. In neighboring Djibouti, heavy rainfall killed two people and damaged 1,800 houses, forcing 3,000 people to leave their houses. Damage in the country reached US$30 million. Sagar’s rainfall extended into eastern Ethiopia, damaging schools and houses, and causing a landslide that killed 23 people.


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