BOSASSO, Somalia (Reuters) - At least 100 people were killed over the weekend when a tropical cyclone hit Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region, President Abdirahman Mohamud Farole said on Monday, appealing for help from aid agencies.
“A heavy storm hit Bandarbeyle and Eyl towns on Saturday and Sunday. About a hundred people died. Hundreds of houses and livestock were swept by the floods into the ocean,” Farole told reporters in the capital Garowe.
“We urge United Nations aid agencies to assist the victims. As Puntland, we have established a committee to investigate the loss and damage. Electricity, communication and fishing boats were all destroyed.”
The government of Puntland said in a statement that hundreds of people remained unaccounted for and declared a natural disaster emergency.
Puntland spans the relatively calm north of Somalia and has largely escaped the worst of Somalia’s upheaval of the last 20 years. Foreign powers advocating a loose federal political system in Somalia have held it up as a possible model.
The area is rich in energy resources and is being sized up by oil explorers. However, Puntland’s authorities have said insecurity is growing, and blame the Islamist al Shabaab militia, which has been driven out of many regions that it used to control in the remainder of Somalia.
Reporting by Abdiqani Hassan; Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Kevin Liffey