Africa

Ethiopians die in floods and landslides after heavy rain

Map of Ethiopia

At least 50 people in Ethiopia have died in floods and landslides caused by heavy rain, a state-affiliated broadcaster has reported.

The rainfall follows one of the worst droughts in more than 50 years, made worse by the El Nino phenomenon.

Administrators in the southern district of Wolaita said 41 people had died in landslides on Monday.

Nine other people drowned in floods in the south-eastern area of Bale that also killed hundreds of head of cattle.

The flooding in Bale, in the south of the Oromia region, has reportedly affected 559 hectares (1,381 acres) of farmland too, washing away seeds.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption About 10% of Ethiopia's population is in need of food aid at the moment
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Livestock are already weak because of the drought

Rescue efforts are under way to save people missing in the landslides, Wolaita police commissioner Alemayehu Mamo told Fana Broadcasting Corporate (FBC).

But a major road and bridge had also been damaged in the SNNP region, hampering rescue efforts, he said.

The BBC's Emmanuel Igunza in the capital, Addis Ababa, says more than 10 million people are already in need of urgent humanitarian assistance because of the drought.

The government and aid agencies have launched a $1.4bn (£970m) appeal to help those requiring urgent food assistance.

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