Heavy rains and floods destroy houses, dam, kill 5 in Sudan

CAIRO – Women and children slept in the open amid heavy rainfall, without shelter or clean water, after flooding inundated hundreds of homes in Sudan’s Blue Nile province, which borders Ethiopia.

Bout, a town of 100,000 people, has been severely hit by heavy rains and floods over the past week with at least 1,200 houses destroyed, the Sudanese Red Crescent said. More than 120 houses in the nearby town of Wed Abuk were also destroyed.

Most people in the region are internally displaced people who live off agriculture and are vulnerable to the annual flooding, according to resident Musab Sharif.

Hundreds of families were left sleeping in the open amid rain that lasted till late Saturday, he said.

The heavy rainfall also caused the collapse of the Bout Dam, local official Nusaiba Farouk Kalol, told The Associated Press over the phone. At least 600 families remained stranded amid flooding caused by both the rainfall and the collapse of the dam, she said.

“The water surrounded them. There was no access to those families as the water flooded the area from three directions,” she said.

Kalol warned about a massive wave of displacement in Bout, which is 180 kilometres (111 miles) from the provincial capital, al-Damazin.

Footage circulated online showed floodwaters cutting off roads and sweeping away houses and people’s belongings. Large swathes of agricultural land in the area were also flooded.

In the capital Khartoum, floods triggered by heavy rainfall inundated more than 180 houses in the east Nile area, the state-run SUNA news agency reported Sunday.

There were no reports of casualties.

Last year, flooding killed a total of 78 people in 16 of Sudan’s 18 provinces, between July and August.

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