Ethiopia: ‘Fish Rain’ in Dire Dawa


    Unusually, fish-rain occurred Last Month late at night in Dire Dawa City Eastern part of Ethiopia for a few minutes both in rural and urban areas.

    According to Dire Dawa Agriculture, Water, Mining and Energy Bureau Public Relations Officer Hadera Yesuf the fish rain happened in Dechatu and Finfinne or 05 and 06 kebeles of urban areas as well as Eyawale Woreda, Adada kebele in rural Dire Dawa.

    People in these areas were stunned by the occurrence to the extent of referring it a blessing from Almighty God, she said.

    Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute Livestock Director Dr. Getenet Assefa on his part said that this phenomena occurs due to cyclone. In meteorology, a cyclone is an area of closed, circular fluid motion rotating in the same direction as the Earth.

    This is usually characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. If it is high cyclone, it can pic fish with the help of air and come again down not far from the sea.

    “But I do not think it sprung from the Red Sea. It could not happen due to simple cyclone for it does not have the capacity to jack up fish.”

    The Ministry of Livestock and Fishery Public Relations Coordinator Abraham Tesfaye said: “We have information but we dispatched a team of professionals to examine the causes and consequences of the occurrence as it is the first of its kind in the country.”

    Haromaya University Metrology Department Head Efrem Mamo also said the circumstances are not uncommon in areas where ocean currents and winds are heavier than usual.

    Citing scholarly researches, he also said that at times frogs and toads roam the countryside in large numbers, and that violent winds could pick them up and carry them for a long distance. Nonetheless, there have been many unproven circumstances that have occurred in fair weather conditions and in the absence of strong winds or waterspouts like the situation in Dire Dawa.

    Tornadic waterspouts analysis is a much agreed scientific explanation: saying tornadic waterspout transports animals to relatively high altitudes, carrying them over large distances.

    This proposition appears to be supported by many and the type of animals carried in such rains are usually small and light, (most of the time aquatic).

    Such kind of rain is often preceded by a storm. Though, the theory does not account for how all the animals involved in each individual incident would be from only one species, and not a group of similarly-sized animals from a single area.

    By Girmachew Gashaw