Heavy rains and fierce winds hit Puntland, cut off transport as cyclone PAWAN makes landfall

Roads were cut off and some vehicles swept away by heavy rains that hit parts of Puntland Friday night and continued into Saturday with fears more damage may be witnessed in the coming hours.

Sources in Puntland said five fishing boats were washed away by floods and three vehicles swept off roads as heavy rains accompanied by strong winds hit the eastern region.

The most affected parts are Eyl, Sanaag, Alula, Hafun, Bayla and Garaad.
Telephone lines were reportedly disconnected in Ely district located in Nugal region.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned Friday the cyclone was expected to make landfall in Nugaal region in 24 hours adding it had increase speeds from 10% to 35%.

“The influence of PAWAN may start being felt in the coastal areas of Bari, Mudug and Sanaag regions in the next 12 hours where moderate to heavy rains and strong winds are expected.

The rains will then spread further inland to many areas within Somaliland, Puntland and central regions on 07 and 08 December 2019,” FAO said.

It noted the storm initially known as SIX had been renamed PAWAn after sustaining a speed of more than 39 miles per hours for two days.

The storm poses an immediate threat to the shipping lane that links Somalia and Gulf states.

Other impacts expected include destruction of property and infrastructure including roads, buildings and boats due to the strong winds, FAO said.

Meanwhile authorities in Puntland have restricted road travel especially at night and warned fishermen to take precautionary measures.