At least 96 people have died in Somalia due to floods caused by torrential rains in the Horn of Africa, authorities said on Thursday.

The Horn of Africa has been grappling with torrential rains and flooding, partly attributed to the El Niño climate phenomenon, for weeks now, killing dozens and forcing large-scale population displacement, especially in Somalia, where bridges have been destroyed and residential areas flooded.

Somali authorities have been “informed by the disaster management authority about the impact of the floods”: “It has confirmed that some 96 people are dead due to flash floods due to El Niño rains,” a government statement said, clarifying that those affected by the disasters are “nearly two million.”

An earlier death toll, released on Monday by Somalia’s disaster management authority, put the death toll at 50 and more than 700,000 people forced from their homes.

Authorities in Mogadishu declared a state of emergency on November 12 in the face of the scale of the devastation.

The Horn of Africa is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change, and extreme weather events there are increasingly frequent and severe.

According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), at least 43 people have died in floods in recent weeks in Ethiopia and more than 60 in Kenya.

The region had already been severely tested as it experienced the worst drought in four decades, which has pushed millions of people to the brink of starvation and hit agriculture and livestock.

The El Niño phenomenon, generally associated with rising temperatures, droughts in some parts of the world and heavy rains in others, will continue until at least April, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently warned.

This meteorological phenomenon has repeatedly caused widespread destruction in eastern Africa.

From October 1997 to January 1998, massive floods due to torrential rains attributed to El Niño killed over 6,000 people in five countries in the region.