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Sudan cabinet holds emergency meeting over deadly flood


A Sudanese holds his phone at a bus station that is flooded following heavy rain on August 3, 2014 in the capital Khartoum. More than 3,000 homes have been destroyed by floods that hit almost half of Sudan's states over Ramadan and the Eid Al-Fitr holidays, official media said on. Photo - AFP

Sudan's cabinet meets in emergency session on Tuesday after flooding killed at least six people, destroyed thousands of homes and sparked complaints of government negligence.

The official SUNA news agency said Minister of Interior Ismat Abdul-Rahman would brief the special session "devoted to the impact of rains and floods that hit large areas of the country recently".

As Sudan's rainy season begins, there have already been three brief, violent storms in the capital region and beyond since July 25.

Giving the first official death toll, SUNA said flooding led to the deaths of six people in Gezira state, south of the capital.

Five were electrocuted and one died when his home collapsed, SUNA said, citing a local government minister.

More than 2,000 homes have been destroyed in the Khartoum region alone, SUNA quoted state governor Abdel Rahman Al-Khidir as saying.

After the latest ferocious downpour early Sunday, AFP found hundreds of families digging through the rubble of their collapsed homes in the Salha district of Khartoum's twin city Omdurman.

They complained that emergency shelter and other help has been slow to arrive but Khidir said "all affected families" had received tents and other aid by Monday.

The opposition Reform Now party has called for Khidir's suspension "because he completely failed to have a solution to the rainy crisis which is repeated every year".

Khidir said Khartoum two years ago started construction of a 2,200-kilometre (1,364-mile) concrete drainage system under a seven-year plan aimed at preventing flooding, SUNA reported after the governor on Monday briefed First Vice-President Bakri Hassan Saleh.

An inundation in August last year was the worst to strike the capital in a quarter-century and affected more than 180,000 people, the United Nations said at the time.

Those floods caused about 50 deaths nationwide, most of them in Khartoum. More rain is expected this week, Khidir said.

The official SUNA news agency said Minister of Interior Ismat Abdul-Rahman would brief the special session "devoted to the impact of rains and floods that hit large areas of the country recently".

As Sudan's rainy season begins, there have already been three brief, violent storms in the capital region and beyond since July 25.

Giving the first official death toll, SUNA said flooding led to the deaths of six people in Gezira state, south of the capital.

Five were electrocuted and one died when his home collapsed, SUNA said, citing a local government minister.

More than 2,000 homes have been destroyed in the Khartoum region alone, SUNA quoted state governor Abdel Rahman Al-Khidir as saying.

After the latest ferocious downpour early Sunday, AFP found hundreds of families digging through the rubble of their collapsed homes in the Salha district of Khartoum's twin city Omdurman.

They complained that emergency shelter and other help has been slow to arrive but Khidir said "all affected families" had received tents and other aid by Monday.

The opposition Reform Now party has called for Khidir's suspension "because he completely failed to have a solution to the rainy crisis which is repeated every year".

Khidir said Khartoum two years ago started construction of a 2,200-kilometre (1,364-mile) concrete drainage system under a seven-year plan aimed at preventing flooding, SUNA reported after the governor on Monday briefed First Vice-President Bakri Hassan Saleh.

An inundation in August last year was the worst to strike the capital in a quarter-century and affected more than 180,000 people, the United Nations said at the time.

Those floods caused about 50 deaths nationwide, most of them in Khartoum. More rain is expected this week, Khidir said.

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