Da Mail & Guardian del 31/10/2006
Originale su http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=288380

Ethiopian floods kill more than 60 people

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Four days of devastating floods along Ethiopia's desolate eastern border have killed more than 60 people, and prowling crocodiles were hampering rescue efforts as rain continued to fall, officials said on Tuesday.

The floods began on Friday when the Shebelle River overflowed its banks in the Ogaden region, more than 1 000km from the capital, Addis Ababa. Rain was expected to continue through the week.

In August, flooding across the country killed more than 600 people and displaced about 50 000.

"Sixty-seven people have died since the worst flooding hit on Friday, and the crocodiles in the area are eating some of the bodies," said Muktar Mohammed, flood coordinator for the government-run Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau.

Four survivors have been injured in crocodile attacks, he added.

"We need helicopters, boats and food and medical supplies urgently," Muktar said.

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world, with more than half of its 77-million people living on less than $1 a day.

The Ogaden region, along the border with Somalia, is the centre of a long-running conflict between the Ethiopian government and ethnic Somalis who want to establish an independent state there.

Muktar also said more than 1 000ha of crops were washed away in the floods, along with thousands of cattle, camels, donkeys and other livestock.

Aid groups were sending food and other help to the region, officials said.

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