Aid arrives for Somalia's cyclone hit Puntland
19 November 2013, 22:22
Mogadishu - Food and medical supplies have begun to arrive
in Somalia's northeastern Puntland region, badly hit by a ferocious storm and
flooding, the United Nations has said.
The UN World Food Programme has sent 340 tons of food,
enough for 4 000 households for a month, while Puntland's government has sent
32 trucks of supplies.
The local government in the semi-autonomous region has said
as many as 300 people were feared to have been killed in the aftermath of the
storm, but the UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said
in an update released late Monday that 80 were so far confirmed dead.
"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," UNOCHA
However, livestock on which the majority of rural population
depend has been badly hit.
"Thousands of livestock are reported dead as a
consequence of icy rain... anecdotal evidence suggests a less than 10 percent
survival rate for livestock in the hardest hit areas," the report added.
Infamous pirate hotspots such as the port of Eyl - from
where Somali gunmen have launched attacks far out into the Indian Ocean - are
some of the worst affected.
Coastal destruction caused by a 2004 tsunami was widely seen
as being one trigger for a surge in attacks off Somalia, peaking in January
2011 when the pirates held 736 hostages and 32 boats.
However, the rate of attacks has tumbled in the past two
years, prompted partly by the posting of armed guards on boats and navy
Ethiopia and Djibouti, both neighbours of Somalia, have also
sent aid shipments.
Somalia has been riven by civil war since the collapse of
the central government in 1991.
Impoverished Puntland, which forms the tip of the Horn of
Africa, has its own government, although unlike neighbouring Somaliland, it has
not declared independence from Somalia.