Food and medical supplies have started to arrive in Somalia’s northeastern Puntland region, badly hit by a ferocious storm and flooding.
The World Food Programme sent 340 tonnes of food, enough for 4,000 households for a month, while Puntland’s government sent 32 trucks of supplies, the UN said on Monday.
The local government in the semi-autonomous region said as many as 300 people were feared dead, while the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs confirmed 80 deaths so far.
“From 650 medical consultations conducted so far, information gathered confirms 80 reported deaths, mostly of children and the elderly who were most vulnerable to hypothermia and exposure,” the UN office said.
Flooding is estimated to have affected at least 42,000 people in 28 villages, according to the UN’s Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit.
The UN estimated only one in 10 livestock survived in areas hardest hit by the storm.
Infamous pirate hotspots such as the port of Eyl – from where Somali gunmen have launched attacks far out into the Indian Ocean – were among the worst affected.
Ethiopia and Djibouti, both neighbours of Somalia, have also sent aid shipments.