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Why are floods hitting eastern and central Africa?

Hundreds of people have been killed by devastating floods that have hit large parts of eastern and central Africa. Torrential rains have swept across the region after a shift in temperature between the eastern and western shores of the Indian Ocean. The phenomenon is called ‘Indian Ocean Dipole’ or ‘Indian Niño’. Peter Webster, Professor Emeritus of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, explains why it is happening.

(Picture: A 12-year-old boy walks through the mud after River Muruny burst its bank following heavy rains in western Kenya. Credit: Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)

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3 minutes