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Blue Nile bursts banks, triggers worst flooding in Sudan in decade: UN

Blue Nile bursts banks, triggers worst flooding in Sudan in decade: UN

The Blue Nile River has burst its banks in eastern Sudan, triggering the worst flooding in that country in more than a decade, the United Nations humanitarian affairs office reported today.

The water reached a critical level high above the normal peak of the period, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). No casualties have been reported and no precise figures of evacuated people were available.

In its first situation report on the recent floods, OCHA paints a bleak picture, noting that some of the worst affected areas included Sinnar State - about 200 kilometres southeast of Khartoum - where infrastructure was damaged and all small islands along the river were submerged. In Kassala State, people were displaced from their homes, while in River Nile State, 13 villages were devastated. About 200 families in South Darfur State, in the western part of the country, lost their homes.

The Government's Humanitarian Aid Commission is coordinating efforts to address the flood emergency, OCHA said. Meanwhile, the Sudan Red Crescent and the International Federation of the Red Crescent are reported to have already sent assessment teams to Sinja, Atbara and Kassala to look into flood damage in 11 villages in those areas.

OCHA's report warned that the water level might increase further, leading to possible major flooding in the coming days.