Sudan saturated by most severe flooding of the century

Heavy rains in the highlands of Ethiopia and Eritrea during recent weeks have inundated Sudan's seasonal waterways and rivers, sending floodwaters roaring into homes, businesses and farmland in the worst floods to strike the nation this century.
Seven people from a single family were killed in Kenana, Sudan, on August 4 when their soaked mud house collapsed. The Elmanagil area, home to 12,000 residents, was also hit with flash floods the same day. Two-thirds of the buildings in the area were damaged.

August is the traditional month of floods in Sudan, and more drenching rains are expected in the region in coming weeks.

In the State of Elgedarif, a highway was completely washed away and over two thousand houses in 11 villages have been hit by rising water levels, according to the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS).

After viewing the destruction firsthand, Omer Osman, the Secretary General of the SRCS, stated that this is the worst flood in the city for at least 70 years. He also confirmed that 12 people have already perished as a result of the flooding and an unspecified number of people are missing, some presumed dead.

The Kassala branch of the SRCS mobilized 1,000 volunteers and 263 staff members immediately to combat the crisis. Women and children were evacuated to elevated dry locations by SRCS staff and their effective and prompt action was, according to local estimates, essential in keeping fatalities low.

"Tents, plastic sheets, water distribution means, water purification means, pumps, generators, medicine and food are still urgently needed," said Mohammed Mukhier, Regional Disaster Preparedness Delegate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), presently in Sudan coordinating the relief efforts.

The Sudanese government issued an appeal for international relief assistance on August 3 requesting 70,000 tents, 150,000 blankets, 300,000 mosquito nets, 70,000 jerry cans and 2.5 million empty sacks to be used as sandbags.

The SRCS has also issued an appeal for emergency assistance and IFRC officials in Geneva released 200,000 Swiss Francs to fund the initial relief needs. An IFRC Assessment Team with water and sanitation expertise from the Nairobi Regional Delegation also recently arrived in Sudan to assist in the relief operation.

Torrential rains have plagued Sudan for weeks, at some points reaching up to three inches of rainfall in a matter of hours. Kassala is currently bracing for new waves of forecasted floodwaters, while SRCS branches in Sinnar, Gezira, Elgedarif and White Nile States have also reported ferocious local floods.


DisasterRelief is a unique partnership between the American Red Cross, IBM and CNN dedicated to providing information about disasters and their relief operations worldwide. The three-year-old website is a leading disaster news source and also serves as a conduit for those wishing to donate to disaster relief operations around the globe through the international Red Cross movement. American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. To help the victims of disaster, you may make a secure online credit card donation or call 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Or you may send your donation to your local Red Cross or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013. The American Red Cross is dedicated to helping make families and communities safer at home and around the world. The Red Cross is a volunteer-led humanitarian organization that annually provides almost half the nation's blood supply, trains nearly 12 million people in vital life-saving skills, mobilizes relief to victims in more than 60,000 disasters nationwide, provides direct health services to 2.5 million people, assists international disaster and conflict victims in more than 20 countries, and transmits more than 1.4 million emergency messages to members of the Armed Forces and their families. If you would like information on Red Cross services and programs please contact your local Red Cross. © Copyright, The American National Red Cross. All Rights Reserved.