Tropical Cyclone Sagar - May 2018
A tropical cyclone formed in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and northern Somalia on 16 May 2018. The cyclone system caused heavy rains along the coast of Puntland on 17 May. Flash flooding was reported in the Bari region, which were not limited to seasonal riverbeds. The road linking Bossaso and points south has reportedly been affected. There are also reports of some fishing boats having been washed away by waves off the coast of Sanaag region, which along with Sool are disputed between Somaliland and Puntland. The two authorities have been engaged in an armed standoff in Sool that had displaced almost 10,000 people prior to the storms arrival, further complicating an already complex humanitarian picture. By 18 May, the cyclone had gained strength, reaching tropical storm-wind levels and assigned the name Tropical Cyclone Sagar. Heavy rains are projected for the escarpment and plateau of Somaliland. (OCHA 19 May 2018)
In Somaliland, the largest concentration of fatalities were reported in coastal Galbeed and Awdal, where the cyclone made landfall. Houses were destroyed, and livestock washed away. The heavy rains and subsequent flooding are hindering humanitarians’ ability to access some of the areas affected by the cyclone to assess the extent of the damage and provide assistance. In Puntland, severe weather conditions also resulted in fatalities, livestock loss and the destruction of farms, property and infrastructure including fishing boats...Meanwhile, forces from Puntland and Somaliland have been engaged in an armed standoff in Sool that had displaced almost 10,000 people prior to the cyclone’s arrival, further complicating an already complex humanitarian picture. By the morning of 20 May, meteorological authorities were reporting that Sagar was beginning to weaken into a tropical depression. The tropical depression itself has remained over parts of Ethiopia, Djibouti and north-west Somaliland, about 140 kilometres from Hargeisa. (OCHA , 20 May 2018)
Norway will provide a further NOK 30 million to alleviate the situation in Somalia. The funds will be channelled through the Somalia Humanitarian Fund, which is administered by the UN, and through Save the Children Norway and Norwegian Church Aid.
'Over the last year, Somalia has been severely affected by drought. Now, the population has been hit by flash floods and river flooding. The authorities and humanitarian actors are doing their best to respond to the situation. It is important that Norway also does its part,' said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.