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20 Apr 2020 | 10:50 AM UTC

Ethiopia: Landslides kill at least five people in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples region April 18

Landslides in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples region kill at least five people following heavy rains on April 18; further flooding and landslides possible over the coming weeks

environment
transportation
ETH

Event

Heavy rain caused deadly landslides in the Gerese woreda area of Goma Zone (Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples region) on Saturday, April 18, killing at least five people. Adverse weather also caused another landslide earlier in the week which killed three others in the region.

Further heavy rainfall is possible in the region over the coming weeks, which may cause additional flooding, consequent material damages, and disruptions to transportation and business in affected areas.

Context

Ethiopia has an extreme climate; both the rainy season and periods of drought can have devastating consequences. During the rainy season, which usually spans from mid-June to mid-September, even a modest amount of rainfall can cause flash floods.

Advice

Individuals present in affected areas are advised to keep abreast of the situation, to avoid areas directly hit by landslides, and to adhere to any orders issued by the local authorities or their home governments.

In the event of flooding, please be advised that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all food discarded. Please be aware that the risk of contracting water- and mosquito-borne diseases tends to rise after periods of heavy rains; take measures to protect yourself from mosquito bites (i.e. use insect repellent, mosquito nets, etc.) and only consume purified water.