Death Toll in Somalia Rises as Recovery Efforts Continue

By Erik Pindrock, Meteorologist
November 15, 2013; 10:11 AM ET
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A tropical cyclone slammed into Somalia Sunday night, local time, bringing flooding rain and strong wind which have lead to damage and loss of lives in Somalia's Puntland region.

According to the Somalian government, at least 140 people have been killed with more missing due to flooding and wind from Tropical Cyclone 03A, reported Reuters. The government fears that this number could rise above 300 as recovery efforts continue.

Now that the tropical cyclone is inland and has dissipated, the threat for any widespread heavy rainfall has come to an end across the region.

Largely dry weather will prevail across the hardest hit areas through the upcoming weekend.

Satellite image of Tropical Cyclone 03A from late Saturday night, local time, courtesy of NOAA.

Tropical Cyclone Three (03A) acquired tropical characteristics while spinning in a favorable environment of warm ocean water temperatures and low wind shear on Friday.

The cyclone, which was the equivalent of a minimal tropical storm, brought a widespread 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) of rain with locally higher amounts of over 300 mm.

Winds of 50-100 kph (approximately 30-60 mph) lashed the coastline Sunday into early Monday along with rough surf and coastal flooding.

The Arabian Sea is typically one of the quieter regions when it comes to tropical development, but it is not uncommon for cyclones to develop.

About one or two tropical cyclones form in the Arabian Sea each year, and November tends to be a climatologically favorable time for a system to form.

The last cyclone to strike Somalia was just last year in late December of 2012.

Meteorologists Eric Leister and Courtney Spamer contributed to this story.

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