Somali community leaders, Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges and City Council Member Diane Hofstede called on Minneapolis residents to donate to relief efforts in the Puntland region of Somalia — an area devastated by a tropical cyclone on Nov. 10 — at a news conference Wednesday afternoon at City Hall.
The storm killed an estimated 400 people and 100,000 livestock. The area typically doesn't have heavy rains and the storm has damaged many villages and bridges.
The Amoud Foundation, a nonprofit that provides relief services for people in Africa, is collecting donations to assist thousands of people who have been displaced by the cyclone.
Ali Warsame, a Somali community leader, said there's hasn't been much media coverage of the event and it's important to raise awareness so people in the Puntland region can they can get the help they need.
There has also been a disease outbreak because of the death of so many livestock, he said.
"This is very serious stuff," he said at the news conference.
Hodges said the storm isn't just a tragedy for Somalia.
"All of Minneapolis needs to support our brothers and sisters in Somalia who need our help. When tragedy strikes one part of us, it strikes all of us," she said. "So now we must come together as a community to embrace our Somali brother and sisters in particular so we can move forward stronger together."