Official: Sudan floods kill 62, uproot thousands

/ Source: The Associated Press

Floods and heavy rains have caused 23,000 mud brick homes to collapse and killed at least 62 people across Sudan this month, a senior Sudanese official said Tuesday.

As he spoke, residents in the capital stacked sandbags along the Nile.

Gen. Awad Allah Widaa, head of the Emergency Commission for the Alleviation of the Effects of Floods and Rains, said 145 people had also been injured since the unusually strong seasonal downpours began in June.

The homes of more than 40,000 families were damaged in northern Sudan alone, and tens of thousands of cattle have been lost. Most of the north is arid, and many houses are constructed of local materials that can’t resist strong rains.

At least 140 public buildings, including schools and hospitals, have been heavily damaged, and major roads have also been cut off, he said.

Tens of thousands have also been displaced by the flooding in semiautonomous southern Sudan, and top local officials have recently declared the south a disaster zone. Widaa, however, denied that a natural disaster had been officially declared in the south.

“The situation is now under control and the president of the republic has issued orders that all resources be put at our disposal,” he said.

The rains have caused mudslides that ravaged 10,000 homes on the outskirts of Khartoum, where the White and Blue Niles meet to form Africa’s largest river.

Authorities in Khartoum are spraying insecticides in the capital to avert epidemic diseases carried by mosquitoes and flies. The price of mosquito nets has more than doubled here in recent days as residents fear a malaria outbreak.