Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mauritania reeling from unprecedented flooding

IRIN: Weeks of heavy rains that began in mid-August have left much of Mauritania's capital city, Nouakchott, and six of the surrounding regions under water, creating "unprecedented" damage according to the Department of Civil Protection.

Some areas have seen as much as 35 percent more rainfall than average, according to the National Meteorological Office.

More than 5,600 people have been affected by the flooding, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that 2,305 people have been displaced and at least eight people have died.

The worst-affected communities are in the department of Moudjeria, in Tagant, south-central Mauritania, where the Mauritanian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) reports that 40 percent of families have lost their homes.

In addition to the estimated 525 homes that were washed away or collapsed, schools, market places, health centres and other public buildings have been destroyed by water damage. Many roads have become impassable and entire neighbourhoods in some regions remain inaccessible.

In parts of the southern agricultural zone, fields have been flooded, which the World Food Programme (WFP) warns could affect harvests.

An aerial view of Atar, Mauritania, shot by John Atherton, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

1 comment:

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