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Somali towns flooded as rivers burst their banks


Somalia's two main rivers have burst their banks in the last two weeks, flooding towns and villages in the center and south of the country.

Residents in the Middle and Lower Juba regions in southern Somalia told Reuters hundreds of farms along the Juba river had been abandoned and the road connecting the capital Mogadishu with the southern port city of Kismayu had been cut.

Waters from the Shabelleh river, which flows through central Somalia, have also flooded residential districts of Beletuein, the regional capital of Hiran region.

Up to 800 families have been forced from their homes, witnesses said. The United Nations' World Food Programme said on Monday a flood assessment showed that some people had been stranded but there was no food crisis.

"We are waiting to see if there is further rainfall in (neighboring) Ethiopia," a WFP spokeswoman said.

"We are watching the situation but from a food perspective there is nothing dramatic at the moment."

May is seasonally wet in Somalia.

The horn of Africa has suffered an outbreak of famine this year after a drought.



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