Warning of further flooding in Kassala

The UN has warned of further flooding in Kassala, northeastern Sudan, as water levels in the Gash river started rising again on Thursday.

Tens of thousands of people have been affected by severe flooding in the state, after the river burst its banks following heavy rains last month. A statement from the Office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan warned that the assistance provided so far was insufficient to mitigate critical needs.

Any renewed flooding, it said, "will disrupt relief and rehabilitation work underway, and exacerbate needs in water, health and sanitation".

It said repairs to the Kassala water supply system were underway, but electricity had not yet been restored to most areas.

"As of 5 August, 13 deaths and 56 injuries have been confirmed," said the report, adding that at least 8,720 houses had been destroyed and 7,120 partially damaged.

According to the report, the situation had been compounded by the "interruption of road communication with [the capital] Khartoum for two consecutive days", which had prevented assistance from reaching Kassala.

The UN, along with NGOs and the Sudanese government, would issue "a flash appeal" on Thursday in order to "immediately assist approximately 100,000 flood-affected people and enable agencies to replenish stocks diverted from other ongoing programme activities".

Meanwhile, the foreign ministry in Eritrea - which borders the Kassala region - has said it will give "moral and material support" to help the flood victims in Kassala. Ties between the two countries have been frozen amid mutual accusations of helping each other's rebels.