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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 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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