Cyclone strikes Puntland - Somalia
This week, the strong typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines with disastrous consequences, claiming the lives of an estimated 10,000 people and displacing more than 60,000 per major news sources. HIRDA grieves with the people of the Philippines in this trying moment and wishes fast relief to the affected.
Just as the world was trying to come into terms with the tragedy in the Philippines, tropical cyclones with heavy wind and rainfall have struck Puntland, region of Somalia, with devastating consequences. The disaster is the worst in the region’s history, however, received little attention in the international media. Three days after nature’s fury swept away entire villages in the affected region, little is known about the plight of the affected. HIRDA calls the attention of the international community to help alleviate the suffering of the people living in the storm-hit areas.
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Hundreds have lost their lives with hundreds others unaccounted for. According to a recent press statement from the Puntland Government "Eyl, Beyla, Dangorayo, Hafun, Alula, Rako Raho, and Jariban are among the most affected districts along the eastern and northern coasts. The storm has destroyed entire villages, homes, buildings, and boats.” And, when disasters strike, it’s not only the human lives that are lost. Tens of thousands of animals have also perished in the natural disaster, which further causes a strain on the livelihood of the survivors.
The Government of Puntland, UN, international aid agencies and the Somali Diaspora have launched humanitarian response. However, efforts to carry out the relief have been hampered by lack of accessibility. The storm has wrecked havoc on the infrastructure cutting off all roads. The only way in which emergency response could reach all members of the affected population is through airdrops, which at the moment seem a far cry.
Following this development, HIRDA is engaged in a thorough funds mobilization drive among the Somali diaspora. Currently, we’re carrying out a needs assessment in Somalia to ascertain which sort of intervention merits our attention and how best we can support our partners. We appeal to Governments and the international community to also turn their unreserved attention to the people of Puntland. Contacts on the ground are warning that the humanitarian situation is grim and more lives could be lost with the continuing indifference of the world to the situation.
Click here to read the official press release.