Flooding in central Somalia caused by a sudden overflowing river has displaced some 200,000 people, a regional official said on Saturday.

The overflowing of the Sambel River in the city of Balanduene, Hiran region, forced thousands of residents to flee their homes.

“Approximately 200,000 people were displaced due to the flash flooding of the Sambel River in Balanduene municipality and the number may increase,” said Ali Osman Hussein, an official in charge of social affairs in Hiran.

“We are doing everything we can to help those affected,” he added.

The deputy governor of the region, Hassan Ibrahim Abdule, reported yesterday Friday that “three people died because of the floods”.

Residents said they were forced to leave their homes in a rush overnight last week as water began to flood roads and buildings.

“All we could do was run away and save our children. We took nothing together,” explained one, Iman Badal Omar.

In southern Somalia in March torrential rains caused chaos, partially or completely destroying bridges, roads and houses. At least 14 people died.

The Horn of Africa is one of the regions of the world most vulnerable to climate change, and crises in the region are increasingly frequent and severe.