Heavy rain caused deadly landslides in the Melka Belo wereda area of Hararghe zone (Oromia region) in the evening (local time) on Thursday, May 21, killing at least seven people. In addition, houses and infrastructure also suffered damage due to the landslides.
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 in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters; 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.
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