Residents of Dire Dawa in eastern Ethiopia welcomed the much-needed rain in their drought-stricken area this week but were not expecting the oddity that came with it. According to the Ethiopian Herald, at around 11:30 AM on January 31, 2016, fish began to rain from the sky over the peasant neighborhoods of Dechatu, Finfinne, Adada, and Eyawale Woreda.
The Ministry of Livestock and Fishery Public Relations sent a team to the area to examine the phenomena which residents referred to as “a blessing from Almighty God”. They say it is the first occurrence of its kind in the country.
Oddly, there were no strong winds or typhoons in the area, conditions that typically accompany this type of phenomenon. In fact, witnesses say the weather was fair right before the fish began to fall from the sky. Stranger still, the area is experiencing severe drought conditions, and most nearby waterways (Dechatu River/Red Sea, Gulf of Aden) have extremely low levels of water. Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute Livestock Director Dr. Getenet Assefa told reporters:
“I do not think it sprung from the sea and it could not happen due to simple cyclone for it does not have the capacity to jack up fish.”