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Belet Weyne District Flood Extent Map (As of 30 October 2019) - Issued 1 November 2019

The ongoing floods along the Shabelle River in Somalia has affected Belet Weyne District the worst. In Belet Weyne town, the river has remained at bankful level for the seventh day running. Flood waters have continued to ravage the town displacing more than 160,000 persons. Analysis from satellite images indicate that a total of 15,504 Hectares have been inundated as of 30 October 2019. This includes 3,265 ha of irrigated agriculture, 7,332 ha of rain-fed agriculture and 4,907 ha of natural vegetation. A total of 111 settlements are also under water. It is worth noting that the current flood extent in Belet Weyne town has not been detected due to the intrinsic nature of radar and optical images used (Sentinel-1 and 2 respectively). The Sentinel-1 imagery may significantly underestimate the presence of standing floodwater in dense built-up areas due to backscattering of the radar signal, while Sentinel-2 imagery is affected by cloud cover over Belet Weyne.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 04 November 2019

The Deyr 2019 rains have so far been average to above average in many parts of the country apart from Bari, Nuugal and Mudug regions that have experienced below-average rains. The seasonal rains are expected to continue during November with moderate to heavy intensity. During the last week, several places across the country recorded Light to moderate rains. A few places in the coastal areas of Bari and Nugal regions experienced moderate to heavy rains in the last 24Hours which led to flash floods and destruction of properties and death of livestock. The cumulative rainfall forecast for the next three and seven days is calling for moderate to heavy rains across the country as well as within the Ethiopian highlands. Lower Juba and Bari regions may receive little or no rains. Belet Weyne in Hiraan region has been at full bank level for the last 11 days leaving about 68% of the town underwater according to analysis from satellite images. Over the previous 24 hours, Bulo Burti reached the highest level in recent history. High levels and flooding in Belet Weyne and other areas along the Shabelle will be sustained in the next couple of days given the current situation and foreseen rains. There was a reduction of river levels along the Juba River with no flood risk over the last week following a decrease in rainfall activities.  Flash floods are expected in low lying areas of Nuugal, Mudug, Bay and Bakool in the coming week given the rainfall forecast.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 05 November 2019

The last 24 hours saw moderate to heavy rains in parts of Juba and Shabelle basins. Belet Weyne in Hiraan recorded 39mm, which has only made it worse for the town currently under water. Wanle Weyne in Lower Shabelle recorded 38mm. A few places in Nugaal and Mudug areas also received light rains. Wet conditions are expected to persist in the coming weeks. The cumulative rainfall forecast for the next three and seven days is calling for moderate to heavy rains across the country as well as within the Ethiopian highlands. In particular heavy rains of more than 100mm are expected in Hiraan, Bay and Bakool regions which are already saturated following weeks of continued heavy rains. Lower Juba and Bari regions may receive little or no rains. Shabelle River at Belet Weyne in Hiraan region has been at full bank level for the last 12 days leaving about 68% of the town underwater according to analysis from satellite images. Today, Bulo Burti in Hiraan Region is only 0.23m away from the bank full level pausing an immediate threat of overbank spillage and possible flooding of the town in the next few days. High levels and flooding in Belet Weyne and other areas along the Shabelle will be sustained in the next couple of days given the current situation and foreseen rains. Observed river levels along the Juba continued to drop in the last 24 hours with no risk of flooding. Given the rainfall forecast and antecedent soil moisture, flash floods are expected in low lying areas of Nuugal, Mudug, Bay and Bakool Regions in the coming week.

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Somalia Flood Update - Issued 07 November 2019

The Deyr rains continued into the second month of the season with many stations recording light to moderate rains in the southern parts of the country. Parts of central and Puntland areas recorded heavy rains on 2nd and 3rd of November. No rains were reported in Somaliland during the week in review. The good rains received so far have continued to replenish water sources further improving pasture growth and reducing water stress. There has been an improvement in livestock body conditions and milk production as well. Shabelle River: In Belet Weyne and surrounding areas, river levels reached its maximum carrying capacity on 24 October 2019 and has remained so up to date leading to overflow which left most of the town under water. The flood waters in the town have however started receding back to the river which is causing an increase of river in the downstream stations. Levels at Bulo Burti are currently very high and only 4cm away from the bank full level. Satellite image analysis further indicate inundation of more than 10,000 Hectares of agricultural land in Belet Weyne district. Unknown amount of crop land has also been inundated in Bulo Burti and Jalalaqsi districts. In Middle Shabelle, floods have damaged more than 65,000 Hectares of cropland at Jowhar and Mahaday Weyne following high river levels and open river breakages. The river levels are expected to remain high along the entire channel of Shabelle as more waters from the Ethiopian highlands are still streaming in. High risk of flooding remains along the Shabelle in the coming week. Juba River: Along Juba River the levels dropped gradually over the last week. The levels are expected to fluctuate in the coming week with a Moderate risk of flooding towards the end of the week. In Bay and Bakool regions: There was a reduction of rainfall activities in these regions over the last week which improved the situation in terms of flooding. Puntland, Somaliland and Central regions: A tropical storm named KYARR dissipated in the Indian Ocean before making a land fall in Somalia as earlier predicted. The much expected heavy rains and associated impacts were therefore not experienced. However, a few places in Puntland and central regions recorded heavy rains on the 2nd and 3rd of November which led to flash floods that destroyed property and death of livestock. The rainfall forecast for the coming week shows continuing rainfall activities in many parts of Somalia and in the Ethiopian highlands. As a result, the current high river levels, and ongoing riverine flooding, along the Shabelle river are expected to continue in the coming week. Flash floods will also be experienced in low-lying areas of Bakool, Bay and Galgaduud region. No significant amount of rains area foreseen in Nuugal, Bari and Mudug regions. Hot and dry conditions are expected to persist in the coming week calling a cause for concern due to the prolonged dry period which may lead to depletion of water resources and pasture in the coming weeks.

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Somalia Flood Update: Issued 18-Oct-2019

Moderate to heavy rains continued in many parts of Somalia and within the Ethiopian highlands over the last one week. River levels at Belet Weyne (Shabelle) are currently very high and the trend is expected to continue reaching over bank in the coming few days. Along Juba, the river levels are also high. The cumulative rainfall forecast for the coming week is calling for moderate to heavy rains across the country as well as the Ethiopian highlands. The river levels will therefore continue to rise with a high risk of flooding along the entire two channels. Flash floods are expected in built-up and low lying areas of Bay, Bakool and central regions given the forecast.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 08-10-2019

Unusual heavy rains were recorded in parts of Juba and Shabelle Catchments in the last few days. Some of the stations that recorded significant amounts in the last three days include Mataban (120mm), Belet Weyne (60mm), Mogadishu (46mm), Dollow (136mm) and Luuq (67mm). Flash floods and riverine flooding have been reported in parts of Gedo region following the heavy rains. In Luuq district, unconfirmed acreage of cropped land has been inundated while several people living close to the Juba river in Dollow have been temporarily displaced. The rainfall forecast for the next three days is calling for moderate rains of up to 50mm cumulatively in many parts of the country. As the week progresses the rains will intensify and spread further in space, with many parts of the country recording 50mm and above. Heavy rains of up to 200mm are expected in the Ethiopian highlands during the forecast period. The heavy rains will lead to a further increase in river flow along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers in Somalia, which translates in a high risk of flooding along the two rivers. Areas to watch out for river flooding include the entire channel of Shabelle and Gedo region in Juba basin.

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Somalia Flood Update - Issued 22 October 2019

Rainfall activities persisted in the second and third weeks of October inside Somalia and within the eastern Ethiopian highlands. The rains have replenished water sources leading to a reduction of water stress and boosted both pasture growth and crop cultivation. There has been an improvement in livestock body conditions and milk production as well. On the downside, the heavy rains have led to increased river levels along the Juba and Shabelle rivers inside Somalia surpassing the high-risk thresholds for flooding in areas of Belet Weyne and Jowhar along the Shabelle and Bardheere along the Juba. The high river levels have consequently led to overflows, causing floods in low-lying areas along the two rivers. The worst affected areas along the Shabelle River include Belet Weyne in Hiraan and parts of Middle Shabelle where there has been destruction of property and inundation of farmlands. As of 22 October, the river level at Belet Weyne is at 7.8m which is about half a meter short of the full bank level. Over bank spillages from minor tributaries passing through Belet Weyne town have caused flooding leading to displacements of a significant number of households. The local authority and partners have started to evacuate vulnerable communities to higher grounds within Belet Weyne. There has also been river flooding in the Ethiopian highlands about 20 Km north of Belet Weyne, and this flood wave is expected to reach Somalia over the next one to two days if rainfall continues, further exacerbating the flood risk inside Somalia. Observed river levels have remained high at Jowhar and Mahadey Weyne districts where large swathes of croplands have been damaged by floods. Existing river breakages (39 points identified and reported by SWALIM in September 2019) could lead to increased flooding if not urgently mitigated. Dollow, Luuq, Bardheere and Buale districts in Gedo and Middle Juba Regions were also affected by river flooding along the Juba. Field reports indicate that four people lost their lives in Bardheere, and the floods have displaced an estimated 750 households; further, 250 livestock drowned, and the waters damaged about 1,200 farms. In Bay and Bakool regions, flash floods destroyed cropland (sorghum, maize and cowpeas) that were at the seedling stage. Low lying areas of Gedo were also affected by flash floods over the last one week. The rainfall forecast for the coming week shows a reduction of rainfall activities especially within the Ethiopian highlands. However, heavy rains are expected in Gedo, Bay and Bakool regions which may lead to flash floods in low-lying areas in these regions. The increasing trend of river levels is expected to continue in the coming week with flooding expected along the Shabelle and Juba rivers.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 11-10-2019

Moderate to heavy rains have been reported in many places across the country as the Deyr season continues to spread. While there was an increase in the rainfall activities in Somaliland and the southern regions, the central parts and north eastern parts received little on no rains. The rainfall forecast for the next three days is calling for moderate rains of up to 50mm cumulatively in most parts of Somaliland, Southern regions and the Ethiopian highlands with the intensity expected to increase as the week progresses. Heavy rains of up to 200mm are expected in the Ethiopian highlands during the forecast period. The heavy rains will lead to a further increase in river flow along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers in Somalia, which translates in a high risk of flooding along the two rivers. Areas to watch out for river flooding include the entire channel of Shabelle River as well as Gedo and Middle Juba regions along the Juba River.

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Somalia Flood Update - Issued 25 October 2019

The Deyr (October-December) rains, which started early in many parts of Somalia, continued in the fourth week of October. Moderate to heavy rains were recorded across the country, apart from parts of Bari and Nugal Regions where the rains were light and in some areas no rains at all. The Ethiopian highlands, where the Juba and Shabelle Rivers originate, equally received moderate to heavy rains over the last couple of weeks. River levels along the entire reaches of Juba and Shabelle have been high over the last few weeks, owing to the heavy rainfall both in Ethiopia and Somalia. Shabelle River: The river level at Belet Weyne reached bankfull level (8.3m) over the last 24 hours. This has led to overbank spillage into Belet Weyne town, and consequently inundating many settlements. The overbank flow is continuing with flood waters expanding fast across the town. Currently the worst affected sections of Belet Weyne town are Kooshin and Xaawo Taako. Destruction of property by floods has also been reported in other parts of Hiraan Region. The local authority and partners have started to evacuate vulnerable communities to higher grounds in the most affected areas. In Middle Shabelle, floods damaging large areas under cropland have been reported in Jowhar and Mahaday Weyne following high river levels and open river breakages. In Jowhar, the river level reached the threshold for high flood risk since late August, and has since been fluctuating within this level to date. Today’s river level a Jowhar is 5.30m, and the level is expected to rise in the coming few days when the current flood wave in Belet Weyne is transmitted downstream. Existence of river breakages (39 points identified and reported by SWALIM in September 2019) is likely to escalate the flooding situation unless urgent mitigation measures are taken. Juba River: Along Juba River the levels drastically increased over the last two weeks, surpassing the threshold for moderate flood risk at the upper reaches of the river. Bardheere town is worst affected, with parts of the town inundated. Flooding was also reported in Dollow, Luuq and Buale districts in Gedo and Middle Juba Regions. Currently the levels are high along the entire reach, and any slight increase is likely to cause further flooding. In Bay and Bakool regions: Heavy rains resulted in flash floods destroying cropland (sorghum, maize and cowpeas). Huddur and Qansadheere districts were the most affected. Low lying areas of Gedo experienced flash floods as well over the last one week. The rainfall forecast for the coming week (October 25-31, Map 2) shows a reduction of rainfall activities in Somalia, especially in the northern parts of the country where light or no rains are expected. In the central and southern parts of the country as well as the eastern Ethiopian highlands moderate rains are expected within the same period. As a result, the current high river levels, and ongoing riverine flooding, along the Juba and Shabelle rivers are expected to continue in the coming week. Flash floods may also be experienced in low-lying areas where moderate rains are expected.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 14-10-2019

The last few days saw an increase in rainfall activities in the southern and northwestern regions of the country. Northeastern and central regions did not record any significant amounts of rainfall. The Ethiopian highlands recorded heavy rains during the same period. The cumulative rainfall forecast for the next three and seven days is calling for moderate to heavy rains in most parts of Juba and Shabelle river basins within Somali and the Ethiopian highlands.  The foreseen heavy rains may lead to a further increase in river flow along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers in Somalia, translating to a high risk of flooding along the two rivers. Areas to watch out for river flooding include the entire channel of Shabelle River as well as Gedo and Middle Juba regions along the Juba River. Flash floods are expected in built-up and low lying areas of Bay and Bakool regions given the forecast. Users are advised that this is a forecast, and at times there may be discrepancies between estimates and actual amounts of rainfall received. Information on the forecast and observed river levels are updated daily on this link: http://frrims.faoswalim.org. 

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Tropical Storm Alert - Issued 29 October 2019

Tropical Storm KYARR expected to cause strong winds and some rains across Puntland and Somaliland A tropical storm named KYARR has been developing in the northern Indian Ocean and is expected to affect most parts of Puntland and Somaliland in the next 4 to 5 days. The storm is expected to affect the coastal areas of Puntland in the next 96 hours and spread further inland towards Somaliland and the central areas within 24 hours. Strong winds accompanied with light to moderate rains will therefore be experienced in areas situated along the storm path. Therefore, it is advisable to take the necessary precautions since the strong winds associated with the tropical storm might lead to destruction of weak structures. The cyclone is going to affect the Puntland shipping line thus disrupting water transport in that area. Flash floods may also occur in some areas.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 16-10-2019

Moderate to heavy rains continued in many parts of Somalia. The Ethiopian highlands also continued to receive heavy rains in the last few days. The cumulative rainfall forecast for the next three and seven days is calling for moderate to heavy rains across the country as well as within the Ethiopian highlands.  The foreseen heavy rains may lead to a further increase in river flow along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers in Somalia, translating to a high risk of flooding along the two rivers. Areas to watch out for river flooding include the entire channel of Shabelle River as well as Gedo and Middle Juba regions along the Juba River. Flash floods are expected in built-up and low lying areas of Bay, Bakool and central regions given the forecast.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 02-10-2019

A few places in Somalia received light rains during the last few days. Gedo region in the south, parts of Puntland and Somaliland recorded light rains of up to 20mm. The season is expected to continue spreading further in the coming weeks until the end of season in November. The rainfall forecast for the next three days is calling for moderate rains of up to 40mm cumulatively in most parts of Somaliland and a few places in Puntland. As the week progresses the rains will intensify and spread further in space, with many parts of the country recording 50 to 100mm in total. Heavy rains of up to 150mm are expected in the Ethiopian highlands during the forecast period. The heavy rains will lead to increased river flow along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers in Somalia. A moderate risk of flooding remains in the middle reaches of Shabelle river. Areas to watch out for floods include Mahadey Weyne, Jowhar, and Balcad districts riverine areas where there exist several open river banks and weak river embankments. River levels along the Juba are expected to rise slightly with no risk of flooding.

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Somalia Flood Update - Issued 31 October 2019

Compared to the previous three weeks, there has been a reduction of rainfall activities in most parts of Somalia as well as the Ethiopian highlands. However, moderate to heavy rains were recorded in Bay and Bakool regions and a few places within the Shabelle in the last couple of days. The northern parts of the country remained mostly dry. The good rains received so far have continued to replenish water sources further improving pasture growth and reducing water stress. There has been an improvement in livestock body conditions and milk production as well. While the river levels in Shabelle continued to increase reaching maximum holding capacity in Belet Weyne, there was a reduction of river levels along the Juba. Shabelle River: In Belet Weyne and surrounding areas, river levels reached its maximum carrying capacity on 24 October 2019 and has remained so up to date leading to overflow which has left most the town under water. Reports so far indicate tens of people have drowned or are missing. Satellite image analysis further indicate inundation of more than 2,000 Hectares of agricultural land. In Middle Shabelle floods have damaged more than 10,000 hectares of cropland at Jowhar and Mahaday Weyne following high river levels and open river breakages. In Jowhar, the river level reached the high flood risk level since late August, and has been fluctuating within this level to date. The river levels are expected to remain high along the entire channel of Shabelle as more waters from the Ethiopian highlands are still streaming in. High risk of flooding remains along the Shabelle in the coming week. Existence of river breakages (39 points identified and reported by SWALIM in September 2019) is likely to escalate the flooding situation unless urgent measures are taken. Juba River: Along Juba River the levels dropped gradually over the last week. Bardheere town in Gedo however remained inundated and the situation has started to improve in the last few days. The levels are expected to fluctuate in the coming week with a Moderate risk of flooding towards the end of the week. In Bay and Bakool regions: Heavy rains resulted into flash floods destroying cropland (sorghum, maize and cowpeas). Bur Hakaba, Baardale, Huddur and Qansadheere districts were the most affected. Moderate risk of flooding remain in this area. Puntland, Somaliland and Central regions: A tropical storm named KYARR has been developing in the northern Indian Ocean and is expected to reach Puntland and Somaliland in the next 72 Hours. Moderate rains and winds of low to medium strength will be experienced in both coastal and inland areas of these regions starting on 02 and 03 November 2019. It is advisable to take the necessary precautions since the winds associated with the tropical storm might lead to destruction of weak structures. Flash floods are also foreseen in these areas. The rainfall forecast for the coming week shows an increase of rainfall activities in many parts of Somalia. As a result, the current high river levels, and ongoing riverine flooding, along the Juba and Shabelle rivers are expected to continue in the coming week. Flash floods will also be experienced in low-lying areas where moderate rains are expected.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 16-10-2019

Moderate to heavy rains continued in many parts of Somalia. The Ethiopian highlands also continued to receive heavy rains in the last few days. The cumulative rainfall forecast for the next three and seven days is calling for moderate to heavy rains across the country as well as within the Ethiopian highlands.  The foreseen heavy rains may lead to a further increase in river flow along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers in Somalia, translating to a high risk of flooding along the two rivers. Areas to watch out for river flooding include the entire channel of Shabelle River as well as Gedo and Middle Juba regions along the Juba River. Flash floods are expected in built-up and low lying areas of Bay, Bakool and central regions given the forecast.

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Flood Advisory for Juba and Shabelle Rivers - Issued 07 October 2019

The Deyr rainy season continued to spread in space and magnitude during the last week. The last two days saw heavy rains in parts of Juba and Shabelle basins with some stations recording more than 100mm of rainfall. The Ethiopian highlands also received very heavy rains in the last few days. This has consequently led to increased river levels along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers both in Ethiopia and Somalia with some cases of river flooding. River levels along the Shabelle remained high in the last few weeks and continued to increase following the heavy rains. Unofficial field reports further indicate flooding in parts of Mustahil and Kalafo within the Shabelle basin in Ethiopia. The flood wave is expected to be transmitted downstream in Somalia in the coming few days leading to a further increase of river levels that may cause flooding along the River. Observed river levels of the Juba River which have been low in the previous week rose drastically in the last 24 hours. At Dollow and Luuq stations in Gedo region, there was 2m rise in the last 24 hours. Riverine flooding and flash floods have been reported in Dollow and the surrounding areas. The rainfall forecast for the coming week is calling for increased rainfall activities in many parts of the country including the Juba and Shabelle basins both in Ethiopia and Somalia. There is therefore high risk of flooding during this week along the two rivers given the current situation. Areas to watch along the Shabelle River include Jowhar town and its environs; where the river level is currently near bankfull level and other riverine towns in the lower Shabelle region. The situation could be further exacerbated by weak river embankments and open river banks. Other areas to watch along the Juba include Dollow and the mid reaches of the River.

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Flood Update for Middle and Lower Shabelle - Issued 05-09-2019

Observed river levels along the Shabelle River in Somalia remained above the average at this time of the year since mid August following moderate to heavy rains in the upper parts of Ethiopian Highlands. The levels at the upper reaches of the river inside Somalia (Hiraan Region at Belet Weyne and Bulo Burti) increased sharply over the last three weeks, but have started to decrease in the last few days. Current river levels in the mid and lower reaches (Middle and Lower Shabelle regions) are significantly above the normal levels at this time of the year with some sections at Mahadey Weyne, Jowhar and Balcad districs experiencing over spillage leading to floods. River levels along Juba are within normal for this time of the year.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 27-09-2019

The Deyr 2019 rainy season (September-December) has kicked off in some parts of the country. Parts of the north eastern regions started to receive rains in mid-September. The last 24 hours also saw moderate rains in parts of the Gedo region in the south. The rains are expected to continue spreading in time and space during the coming weeks with the season scheduled to end in November and early December. The cumulative rainfall forecast for the next three days indicates light to moderate rains in scattered areas of the country, especially within Sool and Sanaag regions. The rains will then spread further as the week progresses with more intensity in the northern areas. The upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands will also receive good rains towards the end of the week. Most parts of the south and central areas will remain dry in the coming week. Given the rainfall forecast and the existing high river levels along the Shabelle, there is a moderate risk of flooding in the middle reaches of the river. Areas to watch out for floods include Mahadey Weyne, Jowhar, and Balcad districts riverine areas where there exist several open river banks and weak river embankments.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 30-09-2019

The cumulative rainfall forecast for the coming week indicates moderate rains in the northern areas and parts of South and central regions bordering Ethiopia. The upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands will also receive good rains during the week. Given the rainfall forecast and the existing high river levels along the Shabelle, there remains a moderate risk of flooding in the middle reaches of the river. Areas to watch out for floods include Mahadey Weyne, Jowhar, and Balcad districts riverine areas where there exist several open river banks and weak river embankments. River levels along the Juba are expected to rise at the week with no risk of flooding.

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Flood Advisory for Middle and Lower Shabelle - Issued 21-08-2019

Observed river levels of the Shabelle River in Somalia have been rising for the past two weeks. This has been attributed to heavy rains in the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands and localized rains in Lower Shabelle. The current Shabelle river levels at the upper reaches inside Somalia (Hiraan Region at Belet Weyne and Bulo Burti), are slightly above the normal range, while the mid and lower reaches (Middle and Lower Shabelle regions) are significantly above the normal levels at this time of the year. This has resulted in over bank spillage leading to riverine floods in parts Middle Shabelle. The ongoing assessment of river breakages along the Shabelle River using Very High Resolution (VHR) Satellite images, has identified several open points along the River, these open points continue to pose a threat of flooding and need immediate closure before the coming Deyr rainy season which is expected in October 2019. The river breakage analysis is being finalized and will be shared once complete. There is a high risk of flooding in the mid and lower sections of the Shabelle river especially in areas with open river banks. The Food and Agriculture Organization’s Somalia Water and Land Information Management (FAO SWALIM) is pleased to share with you a Flood Advisory for Middle and Lower Shabelle.

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Somalia Rainfall Outlook for Deyr 2019

The Deyr rains are usually shorter and less in quantity than the Gu rains. However, they are beneficial in supporting agricultural activities and boosting water availability for different uses. Generally the season starts in late September and ends in November/December. Nevertheless, this varies from place to place across the country with the northern parts usually receiving the rains much earlier than the southern parts. According to the recently issued consensus climate outlook for the Greater Horn of Africa (GHACOF53), the 2019 Deyr rainy season in Somalia is expected to be wetter than normal in most areas with warmer than usual temperatures across the whole country. The rainfall forecast indicates 45% to 55% probability of above average rains in the south, central and most parts of the northern regions. This also includes the Ethiopian highlands which contribute significantly to both Juba and Shabelle river flow inside Somalia. Some areas in the north western parts including Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed and parts of Togdheer regions are expected to have normal to below normal rains as seen in Map 1. The regional forecast further indicates a possibility of a drier than normal month of September and a delayed start of the season in Somalia with dry spells of more than 10 days after the start of the season. The expected good rains will boost crop production and replenish pasture and water sources in most parts of the country thus reducing water stress significantly. This will bring relief to many parts of the country that had recorded below average rains during the 2019 Gu (April—June) and 2018 Deyr (October-December) rain seasons. Communities, government and intervening agencies are advised to take advantage of the expected good rains to harvest rain-water for the future using simple technologies. On the downside, riverine flooding along the Juba and Shabelle rivers is likely to occur especially in the middle and lower reaches of the two rivers. Existing open river banks and weak embankments can worsen the situation. Flash floods are likely to occur in low lying and built up areas. The expected below normal rains in the north western regions will lead to further depletion of pasture and water resources with high likelihood of mild to moderate drought conditions. Replenishing of the surface water points may be minimal and therefore communities should use the available resources sparingly. These areas are currently experiencing abnormally dry conditions following the poor performance of the last two rainy seasons. Conflict over the scarce resources cannot be ruled out. This is a consensus forecast designed for a regional audience that addresses the rainfall totals summed over the three‐month period from October to December 2019. Local and month-to-month variations might occur as the season progresses. Sporadic rainfall events leading to flash floods are likely to occur even in areas with increased likelihood of near to below normal rainfall. Also, dry spells might occur in areas where enhanced rainfall is foreseen. FAO, through SWALIM and its technical partners, will keep updating this forecast for shorter lead time periods and share updating information throughout the rainfall season.

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Status of River Breakages Along Juba and Shabelle Rivers - Issued Aug 2019

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s Somalia Water and Land Information Management (FAO SWALIM) Project, has finalised the analysis and mapping of the river breakages along the Juba and Shabelle rivers using very high resolution satellite imagery. Breakages identified in the map have been classified into six different categories; Open, Overflow, Potential Overflows, Potential breakages, Closed with sandbags and Closed. A legend/Key for further explanation of the different types of breakages is provided here A total of 84 Open points have been identified, 39 on the Shabelle River and 45 on the Juba River which require immediate attention. Due to the low Gu rainfall, no new overflow points were identified as the river levels did not reach overflow threshold. However some overflows could be expected when river level rises above the normal rate. Several other points, which are either potential or temporarily closed with sandbags, have also been identified. The ongoing rains in the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands have resulted to increased river levels in the lower reaches of the Shabelle River, causing floods in some areas of Jowhar and Balcad districts. With the rainfall outlook indicating above normal rains during the October - December Dery rain season, river levels are expected to increase with a likelihood of flooding especially where open and potential points have been identified. There is therefore an immediate need to close the open points and reinforce areas where there are weak river embankments. Temporary measures can be taken before the season begins. SWALIM is pleased to share with you maps and tables of the status of river breakages along the two rivers. Hardcopies can be obtained from FAO SWALIM offices. It is worth noting that the methodology is biased towards Remote Sensing (RS) interpretation with only limited “ground truthing” due to access constraints. Open breakages and overflows might have been omitted or classified as potential in some cases where satellite images were not available or may not have been very clear due to heavy cloud cover and dense vegetation cover.

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Somalia GU Rainfall Performance-Issued on 19 July 2019

The Overall 2019 Gu season rainfall performance was normal to below normal in terms of amount but highly erratic and poorly distributed. The rains started a month late in most areas leading to a prolonged dry period in some areas and moderate drought conditions in others especially during March and April. The last half of May saw increased rainfall activity, including heavy storms that lasted a few hours and distributed within a period of less than ten days during the whole season. Some places received more than 200mm of rainfall especially in the southern regions and a few pockets of Somaliland which is normal for this season. Bari region and the east parts of Sool and Sanag regions in the north recorded the least amounts of rainfall of 30 to 75 mm.

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Rainfall Performance

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 06-06-2019

There were increased rainfall activities across the country during the last few days of May and first three days of June. Heavy rains which led to flash floods were reported in Puntland. Some stations recorded more than 50mm in a single day. The Southern regions also recorded moderate rains during the last week of May. The rains came as immediate relief following a prolonged water stressed period. The cumulative rainfall forecast for the next 3 days indicates light rains in the northern coastal areas of Puntland and Somaliland. The rains will then spread further inland as the week progresses but with lesser magnitude compared to the previous week. The upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands will also receive good rains towards the end of the week.The central regions and large parts of southern regions except Lower Juba and Lower Shabelle will remain dry in the coming week save for the coastal areas of Lower Juba and Lower Shabelle regions.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 28-05-2019

The cumulative rainfall forecast for the next 3 days indicates light to moderate rains in the coastal areas of Lower Juba and Lower Shabelle regions. Moderate to heavy rains of more than 50mm cumulatively are expected in Sool and parts of Nugaal regions in Puntland starting from 29 May 2019 with a moderate risk of flash floods in built up and low lying areas. The rains are expected to spread further in space and intensity as the week progresses with good rains expected in many areas across Somaliland and Puntland towards the end of the week. The upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands will also receive good rains towards the end of the week. The central regions and large parts of southern regions except Lower Juba and Lower Shabelle will remain dry in the coming week. Insufficient soil moisture is a primary factor limiting crop, forage and pasture growth in Somalia. The temporal distribution of the seasonal rainfall is paramount compared to the total quantity rainfall in the season. The Gu rains of 2019 has seen unreliable short spans of rain storms across the country which are not dependable to the water dependent sectors, the crops and pasture require some rainfall to remain productive. For instance, some stations have recorded only one day of rainfall since the start of the season with some exceeding 50mm in the one day rainfall. Such rainfall is rendered ineffective for crop and pasture growth while it would be effective for rainwater harvesting and refill of surface water reservoirs.

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