Heavy rain caused deadly landslides in the Ale woreda area of Illubabor zone (Oromia region) on Friday, May 8, killing at least five people. Search and rescue operations are ongoing in the area as of 20:00 (local time), as seven people still remain missing.
Further heavy rainfall is possible in the region over the coming weeks, which may cause additional flooding, consequent material damages, and disruptions to transportation and business in affected areas.
Ethiopia has an extreme climate; both the rainy season and periods of drought can have devastating consequences. During the rainy season, which usually spans from mid-June to mid-September, even a modest amount of rainfall can cause flash floods.
Individuals present in affected areas are advised to keep abreast of the situation, avoid areas directly hit by landslides, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities or their home governments.
In the event of flooding, please be advised that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all food discarded.
Please be aware that the risk of contracting water- and mosquito-borne diseases tends to rise after periods of heavy rains; take measures to protect yourself from mosquito bites (i.e. use insect repellent, mosquito nets, etc.) and only consume purified water.
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