Kenya on alert before the arrival of Cyclone Hidaya, already more than 200 dead

Kenya on alert before the arrival of Cyclone Hidaya, already more than 200 dead
Kenya on alert before the arrival of Cyclone Hidaya, already more than 200 dead

Cyclone Hidaya is set to hit Kenya in the coming hours, while the country is already experiencing violent flooding.

As rescue operations increase, President William Ruto declared a state of emergency on Friday.

Global warming is at the origin of this crisis which has already caused hundreds of deaths and thousands of refugees across West Africa.

Emergency situation in Kenya. While violent floods have already killed more than 200 people since March, President William Ruto has just placed his country on alert for the approach of Cyclone Hidaya, the very first in its history. “It could strike at any time, causing torrential rain, strong winds and powerful, dangerous waves” he said at a press conference in Nairobi.

The reopening of schools, scheduled for next Monday, has been postponed and all ministers have been instructed to coordinate the evacuation and rehousing of impacted Kenyans. “Our country must act quickly and decisively to mitigate the devastating effects of the current crisis and protect lives and property“insisted William Ruto. More than 165,000 people have already been displaced in recent weeks in Kenya and around 100 people are missing.

Tanzania and Burundi also affected

How can we explain such a humanitarian catastrophe? The cyclone season in the southwest Indian Ocean normally runs from November to April and sees around a dozen storms each year. But precipitation in the region has been amplified by El Niño, a natural climate phenomenon generally associated with global warming, which causes droughts in some parts of the world and heavy rains elsewhere.

In pouring rain, rescuers raced against time to help people stranded by floods. On Wednesday, the Red Cross rescued a man and forced him to shelter on a tree for five days in Garissa, in the east of the country, according to images shared on social media. The army also joined the rescue operations.

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Kenya is not the only country affected in a region that was struggling to recover from the worst drought recorded in 40 years. At least 155 people have died in similar floods in neighboring Tanzania, while in Burundi at least 29 people have died and 175 have been injured since the start of the rainy season in September, says the country’s humanitarian affairs office. ‘UN.

For its part, the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) says:particularly concerned“by the fate of thousands of refugees.”They are forced to flee once again for their lives after their homes are swept away by floodwaters“, underlined this Friday Olga Sarrado Mur, its spokesperson.


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