Heavy downpour in Khartoum inundates city streets

At least 21 killed elsewhere in Sudan as fears of deadly flooding increase

Heavy overnight rainfall on Khartoum has inundated the streets of the Sudanese capital but the city has so far been spared major flooding from the Blue and White Niles.

There were no reports of major damage or casualties as a result of the rain on Sunday night and Monday morning in Khartoum, but hundreds of homes elsewhere in the vast Afro-Arab nation have been damaged by heavy rain or because of the Nile tributaries bursting their banks.

Police Brig-Gen Abdul Jaleel Abdul Raheem, spokesman for the Civil Defence Forces, said at least 21 people were killed and 30 others injured in flooding across the country at the weekend.

A total of 1,413 homes were damaged and the worst-hit region was the Nile province north of Khartoum, he said.

Sudanese authorities are issuing warnings to Khartoum residents to take precautions against potential flooding from the two Nile tributaries.

Youth committees in residential districts have been shoring up defences on the banks of both rivers in anticipation of flooding.

There were isolated cases of White Nile flooding in southern districts of Khartoum, but they caused negligible damage and no casualties were reported.

Sudan’s rainy season begins in June and lasts until October. The Blue Nile, whose source is in neighbouring Ethiopia, swells in July and August due to heavy rainfall in the highlands.

The Blue and White Niles meet in Khartoum to form the Nile before it flows north through the Sudanese desert and the entire length of Egypt all the way to the Mediterranean.

During the flooding season, the much increased volume of the Blue Nile and its strong current combine to prevent much of the White Nile waters from joining it in Khartoum, often causing the less voluminous White Nile to flood areas in the capital.

About 100 people were killed in Sudan during flooding last year.

Updated: August 9th 2021, 6:09 PM
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