Sudan – State of Emergency Declared as Floods Affect Over 500,000

The United Nations reports that the flood situation in Sudan has worsened over the last few days after further heavy rainfall.

In a report of 07 September, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that over 506,000 people have been affected since the start of the rains in mid-July, with more than 110,000 of them in the first week of September alone.

Floods in Khartoum, Sudan September 2020, after the Blue Nile reached record levels. Photo: Sudan Red Crescent

OCHA said “The unprecedented storms and flooding have especially affected Khartoum, North Darfur and Sennar States. The River Nile has also burst its banks in several localities in the Red Sea and Nothern states, leading to displacement and increased humanitarian needs.”

Nearly 100 people died due to floods and landslides, and another 46 people have been injured. Over 100,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged across the country, leaving thousands of people homeless and forcing them to seek refuges with relatives or at schools.

On 04 September the Transitional Government of Sudan declared a national State of Emergency for the next three months, a decision that will boost efforts of all institutions that will work together to respond to the most urgent needs of those affected.

“The torrential rains and flooding compound increasing and emerging humanitarian needs in Sudan and the situation is not expected to change in the coming weeks. River Nile water levels continue to increase, after reaching 17.4 metres, the highest in 100 years, according to the Government. Heavy rains forecast in Ethiopia and several parts of Sudan will likely cause the further increase of water levels and lead to more riverine and flash floods,” OCHA added.

Over 500 km2 of land appears to be flooded in Khartoum, Al Gezira and White Nile states alone, according to satellite images.

Satellite-detected surface waters (cumulative) in Sudan as detected by VIIRS-NOAA satellite between 02 and 06 September (shown in red) compared with the 28th August and the 1st September 2020 (shown in orange) . Image: UNITAR – UNOSAT
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