Heavy rain and floods destroy houses and dam in Sudan

Most people in region are internally displaced, living off agriculture and vulnerable to annual floods

TOPSHOT - Sudanese children stand on the other side of a flooded street, after torrential rain lead to landslides and flash floods, in the town of Umm Dawan Ban, southeast of the capital Khartoum on August 2, 2020.  / AFP / ASHRAF SHAZLY
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Women and children slept in the open amid heavy rainfall, without shelter or clean water, after flooding inundated hundreds of homes in Sudan’s Blue Nile province, which borders Ethiopia.

Bout, a town of 100,000 people, has been severely hit by heavy rain and floods over the past week with at least 1,200 houses destroyed, the Sudanese Red Crescent said.

More than 120 houses in the nearby town of Wed Abuk were also destroyed.

Most people in the region are internally displaced, living off agriculture and vulnerable to the annual flooding, resident Musab Sharif said.

Hundreds of families were left sleeping in the open in rain that lasted until late on Saturday, Mr Sharif said.

The heavy rain also caused the collapse of the Bout Dam, local official Nusaiba Kalol said.

At least 600 families were stranded amid flooding caused by the rain and the dam collapse, Ms Kalol said.

“The water surrounded them," she said. "There was no access to those families as the water flooded the area from three directions."

Ms Kalol said there would be great displacement in Bout, which is 180 kilometres from the provincial capital, Al Damazin.

Footage online showed floodwater cutting off roads and sweeping away houses and people’s belongings.

Large areas of agricultural land in the area were also flooded.

In the capital Khartoum, floods triggered by heavy rainfall inundated more than 180 houses in the east Nile area, the state-run Suna news agency reported on Sunday.

There were no reports of casualties.

Last year, flooding killed a total of 78 people in 16 of Sudan’s 18 provinces between July and August.