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Rain, flood swamp capital of Sudan’s Darfur, refugee camp

سودانيزاونلاين.كوم
sudaneseonline.com
8/16/2005 5:09am

KHARTOUM, Sudan, Aug 15,2005 (AP) — Heavy rains have damaged a dam and caused flooding that left thousands of people without shelter in the capital of North Darfur state and a nearby camp for displaced people, government officials said Monday.

The rainfall from Friday morning to Saturday collapsed part of the Haloof Dam, 13 kilometers northeast of El-Fasher, and sent meter-high water sweeping through the area.

An official at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs said some 2,284 families lost their makeshift shelters in Abu Shouk camp, according to a preliminary report. In El-Fasher, seven neighborhoods were leveled and 547 families left homeless, 12 schools destroyed and the central market heavily damaged, the official said.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because the report has yet to be released.

No casualties were reported.

"The situation has now been brought under control and the government has exercised tremendous efforts, distributing canvas and blankets and sorghum to the affected families," Gov. Osman Mohamed Yusuf Kibir said. He said over 2,200 sacks of sorghum had been handed out.

The Humanitarian Affairs report said the main concern now is to contain any sanitary or health problems. It warned of a possible outbreak of disease because of pools of standing water and sewage mixing with rainwater.

The report said a Sudanese non-governmental organization is addressing the problem.

The ministry official said international organizations met Sunday in El-Fasher and will assess how to assist people in the area.

Local authorities have complained of a lack of heavy machinery to remove debris and erect barriers near the dam to prevent another wave of flooding.

About 2 million people live in displaced persons camps throughout Darfur, after fleeing fighting involving rebels, militias and the government.

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