Skip to main content

Sudan declares state of emergency over torrential floods

Heavy rains for more than a month have led to one of the worst natural disasters in the country in decades
Sudanese people walk in flood water after torrential rain in the town of Osaylat, 50km southeast of Khartoum, on 6 August 2020 (AFP)

Sudan declared a three-month national state of emergency on Saturday, after record-breaking torrential flooding that has cost nearly 100 lives.

"A nationwide three-month state of emergency has been announced as Sudan is considered a natural disaster zone," the interior ministry said on social media.

Floods caused by more than a month of heavy rains have killed 99 people, injured 46 and left 100,000 damaged properties in their wake, one of the worst natural disasters in the country in decades, according to state news agency SUNA.

North Darfur in the country's west and Sennar state in the south were among the hardest-hit areas.

Heavy rains usually fall in Sudan from June to October, and the country faces severe flooding every year.

"The Blue Nile has reached an all-time high since records began more than a century ago," the irrigation and water ministry said last week.

The latest report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan said on Thursday that more than 380,000 people had already been "affected" by this year's floods.

The entire flooding season in 2019 had affected 400,000 people, according to an OCHA spokesperson.