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Somalia Drought Watch Bulletin - Issued 26 Mar 2019

The much anticipated Gu rains in Somalia may experience a delay owing to the ongoing cyclonic systems in southern Indian Ocean. The ocean systems have delayed the northward movement of the rain bearing zone – Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Further, this has reduced the influx of moisture expected in the East African countries including Kenya and Somalia. Following a poor Deyr 2018 season many parts of the countries have experienced prolonged dry periods that have led to mild to moderate drought conditions in the country. The worst affected areas being north eastern parts of Puntland central regions.

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Drought watch

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Update on 2018 Deyr Season Rainfall and Impact in Somalia

Following a below average Deyr 2018 (October-December) rainy season (Map 1) parts of Somalia are facing abnormally dry conditions, particularly large parts of the central and northern regions. The Deyr 2018 rainfall pattern in these region was poorly distributed in term of space and time. Most stations recorded less than five days of rainfall. The situation is expected to worsen during this Jilaal dry season (January–March) owing to the continued depletion of available water resources in the country until the start of the next rainy season of Gu 2019. The southern parts of the country was dominated by below normal conditions during the same period, However, a few pockets of Bay and and Bakool received slightly enhanced rains during the month of November 2018. The Ethiopian highlands that produce about 90% of the river flow in Somalia experienced depressed rains and this has significantly affected the river flow inside Somalia along the two major Rivers.

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Somalia Rainfall Outlook for Gu 2019 - Issued: 19 February 2019

Gu (April-June) is the primary rainy season in Somalia because it is more dominant in terms of quantity and reliability. Approximately 75 percent of the annual rainfall in Somalia is recorded during the Gu season. The Gu rains typically start in March/April and ends at different times throughout the country depending on the movement of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) which is responsible for driving the rainfall. According to the recently issued consensus climate outlook for the Greater Horn of Africa (GHACOF51), the 2019 Gu rainy season in Somalia is expected to be near normal to above normal in most areas with warmer than normal temperatures across the whole country. There is increased likelihood of above normal to near normal rains with 70 percent probability of experiencing above normal to normal rains in Somaliland. The Ethiopian highlands whose rainfall contributes about 90 percent of the river flow in Juba and Shabelle rivers inside Somalia are also expected to record enhanced Gu season rains. The southern parts of Somalia, including large parts of central regions and Puntland will likely receive near normal rainfall. The coastal and adjacent parts of Nugaal, Mudug, Galgadud, Middle and Lower Shabelle Regions are expected to receive depressed rains with a higher percent probability of below normal to near normal rains

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Rainfall Outlook

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 28-11-2018

The three days cumulated rainfall forecast is pointing towards light rains in scattered places across the country with Puntland expected to remain dry within the three days. Rainfall activities are expected to increase as seen in the one week forecast towards the end of the week especially in Southern and central parts of Somalia and the upper parts of the Juba and Shabelle basins within the Ethiopian highlands. Hot and dry conditions remain a concern in Somaliland and Puntland with the rainy season coming to an end. River levels along the Juba and Shabelle basins remain within the normal ranges with no risk of flooding given the rainfall forecast.

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Rainfall Forecast

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Somalia Deyr Rainfall Perfomance, 2018

The 2018 Deyr rainy season was generally poor with many areas in Somalia recording average to below average rains. This is contrary to earlier predictions of enhanced rainfall in the country. Some areas in Sool, Sanaag and most of the central regions recorded little or no rains during the season. The season started off well in the northern regions and ended early while the southern regions experienced a prolonged delay of the rains which ended in late November and early December. Since the beginning of December, good rains were recorded in the southern regions, however the accumulated amounts were not sufficient to fully erode seasonal deficits. Map 1 gives an analysis of the rainfall performance during the season based on the observed rainfall data and field reports while Map 2 shows a comparison of the seasonal rainfall compared to the long term mean based on satellite rainfall estimates data.

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Rainfall Performance

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 06-11-2018

The Deyr 2018 rainy season continued to spread in space across the country with poor performance during the month of October. Some parts are yet to record any significant rains since the season begun. The rainfall forecast for the next three days is calling for light or no rains in the country. The rains are expected to increase towards the end of the week to moderate levels of up to 40mm in the southern regions, west of Somaliland and the Ethiopian highlands. Most of central regions, Puntland and East of Somaliland will remain dry during the week. This calls for concern and close monitoring of the situation especially in Puntland which is already experiencing moisture stress due to the suppressed rains.

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Rainfall Forecast

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 14-11-2018

The rainfall forecast for the next seven days is calling for increased rains of up to 50—100 mm cumulative in the southern regions of Gedo, Middle Juba, Bay, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle and Hiraan. The Juba catchment in the Ethiopian highland is also expected to record moderate to heavy rains in the coming week. Somaliland, Puntland and central regions will remain dry during the week in review. Given the rainfall forecast, river level along the Juba are expected to rise in the next few days with minimal risk of flooding. There is a cause for concern in Puntland which has remained dry in the last two weeks. No rainfall is foreseen in this area in the coming week.

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Rainfall Forecast

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 23-11-2018

During the last week, some places in the southern regions of the country, received light to moderate rains with a few stations recording cumulative amounts of 10 to 40mm. The Ethiopian highlands, which contribute significantly to the river flow of Juba and Shabelle rivers inside Somalia, also recorded moderate rains in the last week. The central parts, Somaliland and Puntland continued to remain dry during the same week. Moderate rains during the past week in the southern regions of Somalia, improved the soil moisture conditions and led to a slight increase of river levels, which are however below normal at this time of the year especially in the upper and middle sections of the river at Belet Weyne and Jowhar. With a forecast of below normal rains in the coming week, the river levels are likely to continue dropping. There remains a significant rainfall deficit in Puntland and central regions of Somalia. Soil moisture deficits coupled with high temperatures have led to water shortage and depreciation of pasture in the area. With no foreseen significant rainfall, amounts in the coming weeks, and following the deteriorating situation on the ground, the Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Agency (HADMA) has appealed for early humanitarian interventions in Puntland on behalf of the local government.

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Rainfall Forecast

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 17-10-2018

The Deyr 2018 rainy season started in some parts of the country during the last week of September and is yet to start in some parts of the country especially in the southern regions. Following the passage of Tropical Strom LUBAN, that made a landfall in Yemen on 14 October 2018, parts of the northern coastal areas of Puntland received light to moderate rains in the last two days. While LUBAN was a threat to the shipping line of Puntland, no damage has been associated with the storm inland of the country. The rainfall forecast for the next three and seven days is calling for light to moderate amounts of rainfall in the northern regions and within the Ethiopian highlands. The central and southern regions of Somalia will receive little or no rains during the forecast period.

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Rainfall Forecast

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Uncovering the challenges of domestic energy access in the context of weather and climate extremes in Somalia

In Somalia, challenges related to energy access is influenced by both weather and climate extremes and associated conflict. The objective of this article is to gain an improved understanding of these risks and challenges, which are faced by the most vulnerable populations in the country. In particular, cooking energy-related challenges faced by households affected by weather and climate extremes and conflicts include protection risks, malnutrition, health risks, environmental degradation and heightened tension and conflict between social groups. Interventions to address these issues should focus on both fuel supply and fuel demand as well as on improving the livelihoods of affected populations. In the aftermath of an extreme weather event it is recommended that assessments of the energy needs of all affected populations, including both hosts and Internally Displaced People (IDPs), be conducted. Post-disaster support should include the promotion of energy-efficient technologies for cooking as well as alternative sources of fuel where available, including non-wood based renewable energy. The implementation of a field inventory to assess the status of natural resources in areas vulnerable to climate impacts could help to determine woody biomass trends and enable the development of ecosystem restoration plans. These could include provisions for the establishment of woodlots and agro-forestry, thus building resilience to environmental degradation while maintaining woody biomass resources in and around displacement camps. Interventions should also be designed jointly with partners, and activities should be conflict-sensitive to ensure an enhanced state of resiliency and preparedness among vulnerable populations.

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Journal Article

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Tropical Storm Alert - Issued 12 October 2018

Tropical Storm LUBAN expected to lead to winds of medium strength with moderate rainfall amounts in Bari and Sanaag regions in Somalia. A tropical storm that developed in the northern Indian Ocean is expected to make a land fall in Yemen in 3 to 4 days. The storm poses an immediate threat to the shipping lane that links Somalia and Gulf states. Further, it may affect the coastal areas of Bari and Sanaag regions of Somalia in the next 48 to 72 hours from today (12 October 2018). Moderate rains and winds of low to medium strength will be experienced in areas situated in the coastal areas of Bari and Sanaag regions. The impacts are expected to be of lower magnitude compared to recent tropical storms that have been experienced in this area. However, 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. SWALIM and partners are monitoring the situation and will update you accordingly. For more details on tropical storm tracking you can consult: http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/ or contact swalim@fao.org.

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Flood Alert

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Somalia Rainfall Outlook Deyr 2018: Issued 06-09-2018

A recent forecast issued by the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF50), issued on 28 August 2018, indicates a greater likelihood of normal to above normal 2018 Deyr (October-December) rains across Somalia. Specifically, the forecast indicates 35 percent probability of above normal rainfall in the northwest regions. This probability is higher (40%) in the rest of the country. Overall, probabilities of normal to above normal rainfall are 75 percent across the country. According to the information from GHACOF50, the 2018 Deyr season is expected to start earlier than normal with normal cessation in many parts of the Somalia but an early cessation is likely in the northwest regions of the country. There is also an increased likelihood of warmer than normal average temperatures across Somalia. The anticipated average to above average Deyr rains are expected to further enhance pasture and water availability for livestock, improve livestock body condition and reproduction and facilitate increased crop cultivation in crop growing areas of Somalia. On the downside, normal to above normal rainfall is also likely in parts of the Ethiopian highlands which contribute significantly to the flow into the two main rivers in Somalia (Juba and Shabelle). As a result, there will be an increased risk of flooding along Juba and Shabelle rivers. Low lying areas of Galgaduud, Mudug, parts of Nugaal and other regions may experience flash floods during the forthcoming Deyr season due to the forecast heavy rains.

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Rainfall Outlook

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 06-09-2018

The north eastern parts of the country recorded good rains over the last few days with some stations in southern parts of Togdheer and Sool regions recording over 50mm of rainfall. The rains are 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 amounts of rainfall in most places of Puntland and central regions. The rains are expected to intensify in time and space during the week ending on 08 October 2018. Moderate rains are also expected in the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands during the coming week. Other areas will remain dry in the next one week with little or no rains.

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Rainfall Forecast

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Tropical Storm Alert - Issued 17 May 2018

A tropical storm named ONE has been developing in the northern Indian Ocean and is expected to affect most parts of northern regions in Somaliland and Puntland in the next 24 to 48 hours. The storm is expected to affect coastal areas of Puntland in the next 24hours and spread further inland towards Somaliland and the central areas with time. Strong winds with heavy 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. Flash floods are also foreseen in these areas. SWALIM and partners are monitoring the situation and will update you accordingly. For more details on tropical storm tracking you can consult: http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com/ or consult us through swalim@fao.org.

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Storm Alert

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast - Issued 18 May 2018

Following a Tropical Cylcone in the gulf of Aden, heavy rains that led to flash floods were experienced in Bari region of Puntland in the last 12 hours. The rains are expected intensify during the next two days in most parts of Puntland and Somaliland with a reduction on 21/05/2018. Flash floods and strong winds will be experienced during this time in these areas. There has been a reduction of rainfall activities within the Juba and Shabelle basins in the last few days and the Ethiopian highland as well. The forecast for coming week is calling for moderate rains in the basins. While river levels have remained high along the Shabelle, there has been a significant decrease of river levels along the Juba in the upper parts.

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Rainfall Forecast

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Somalia Flood Watch Bulletin - Issued 08 May 2018

The rainfall forecast for the coming week is calling for moderate to heavy rains in most places across the country as well as the Ethiopian highlands. Following the enhanced rains observed river levels remained high along the two rivers. Belet Weyne in Hiraan region has been at bank full level for the last 14 days and is expected to remain the same for the next couple of days. Many stations along the Juba also reached their highest level in the recent history. Continued heavy rains and high river levels have led to flooding which currently exceeds a 50 year return period flood magnitude.

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Flood watch bulletin

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Somalia Gu Rainfall Performance Update May 2018

Rainfall in April 2018 was well above average (higher by 50% or more compared to the long-term average for April) in most parts of Somalia and adjacent areas in Ethiopia. As a result, riverine and flash floods have already caused massive population displacement, damaged housing, property, infrastructure and farm lands in riverine and low-lying areas in central and southern Somalia The overall seasonal rainfall amount and river levels and extent of flooding are likely to be worse than in 2006 but less compared to 1997; however, humanitarian impact is expected to be higher in 2018 given population increases in the affected areas. Flooding can be expected to worsen over the next 2-3 weeks as Gu season rainfall continues; however, forecasts indicate reduced rainfall activity over the next two weeks.

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Rainfall Performance

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast - Issued 10 may 2018

With the high water levels and over bank spillage in Belt Weyne, River levels at Bulo Burti are fast approaching the high risk threshold. The high water levels are expected to be transmitted to Middle and Lower Shabelle in the next couple of days and this is likely to worsen the flood situation in these areas. Communities residing in the riverine areas of Middle and Lower Shabelle, in particular, are requested to be on the alert for rising river levels and possible overspill. All necessary measures should be taken to preserve life and property in these areas.

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Rainfall Forecast

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Devastating floods Overwhelm parts of Somalia

Somalia is periodically affected by various forms of natural and manmade hazards. Floods are notably one of the most devastating natural hazards in the country, causing tremendous loss of lives and extensive damage to agriculture, vegetation, human, wild life and local economies. Juba-Shabelle River Basin is the source of the two most significant rivers (Jubba and Shabelle) in the country that provide sufficient water for crop production, livestock and for domestic use (Figure 1). It is widely believed that the alluvial plains of the two rivers to be the breadbasket of Somalia as they have considerable potential for irrigation development. However, floods are a common phenomenon in the riverine areas of the Juba and Shabelle River basin during the two main rainy seasons of Somalia Gu (April to June) and Deyr (October to December). The low-lying areas along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers are usually experienced flooding of various magnitudes. This is caused or amplified by both weather and human related factors. The natural one is due to quantity and frequency of precipitations experienced by the Ethiopian side of the Juba and Shabelle River Basin is far more exceeding than the one occurs in Somalia.

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Flood watch bulletin

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast - Issued 14 May 2018

Moderate to heavy rains will continue in the coming week in Somali and within the Ethiopian highlands whose rainfall contribute significantly to the river flow in Juba and Shabelle Rivers. Somaliland and Puntland will record the highest amounts of rainfall given the forecast. Given the current ground situation, high river levels and the rainfall forecast, riverine flooding is expected to continue and spread further especially along the Shabelle River. Flash floods are likely to be experienced in the coastal areas of Puntland (Bari and Nuugal) and central (Mudug and Galgaduud) regions.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast - Issued 04 may 2018

Enhanced rains are foreseen in the coming week in many parts of the country with Bay and Bakool regions in the south expected to record the highest amounts of rainfall. The Ethiopian highlands will also continue to receive good rains during the period in forecast. The foreseen moderate to heavy rains are likely to exacerbate ground conditions, and trigger additional floods. Built up and low Lying areas of Bay and Bakool will experience flash floods while river flooding along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers will continue.

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Somalia Rainfall Forecast 16-04-2018

Moderate to heavy rains have been received in many parts of the country over the last two days. Flash floods have been reported in many places including Bakool, Hiraan and Middle Shabelle regions. The rainfall forecast for the coming week is pointing towards moderate to heavy rains. Low lying areas and built up areas may experience flash floods during the week. River levels along the Juba and Shabelle are expected to continue rising. There is a high risk of flooding in Middle and Lower Shabelle regions following the dramatic river level increase in he last 48 hours. No flooding risk is foreseen along the Juba River during the period under review.

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Rainfall Forecast

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Validation of the CHIRPS satellite rainfall estimates over eastern Africa

Long and temporally consistent rainfall time series are essential in climate analyses and applications. Rainfall data from station observations are inadequate over many parts of the world due to sparse or non‐existent observation networks, or limited reporting of gauge observations. As a result, satellite rainfall estimates have been used as an alternative or as a supplement to station observations. However, many satellite‐based rainfall products with long time series suffer from coarse spatial and temporal resolutions and inhomogeneities caused by variations in satellite inputs. There are some satellite rainfall products with reasonably consistent time series, but they are often limited to specific geographic areas. The Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitation (CHIRP) and CHIRP combined with station observations (CHIRPS) are recently produced satellite‐based rainfall products with relatively high spatial and temporal resolutions and quasi‐global coverage. In this study, CHIRP and CHIRPS were evaluated over East Africa at daily, dekadal (10‐day) and monthly time‐scales. The evaluation was done by comparing the satellite products with rain‐gauge data from about 1,200 stations. The CHIRP and CHIRPS products were also compared with two similar operational satellite rainfall products: the African Rainfall Climatology version 2 (ARC2) and the Tropical Applications of Meteorology using Satellite data (TAMSAT). The results show that both CHIRP and CHIRPS products are significantly better than ARC2 with higher skill and low or no bias. These products were also found to be slightly better than the latest version of the TAMSAT product at dekadal and monthly time‐scales, while TAMSAT performed better at the daily time‐scale. The performance of the different satellite products exhibits high spatial variability with weak performances over coastal and mountainous regions.

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Somalia Flood Watch Bulletin - Issued: 18 April 2018

During the week ending on 17 April 2018, the Juba and Shabelle basins in Somalia and in the Ethiopian highlands continued to receive moderate to heavy rains. Following the heavy rains, flash floods were reported in many places within the two basins leading to displacements, inundation of croplands and destruction of property. The table below shows the total rainfall amounts recorded in selected stations within the two basins over the last one week. Map 1 shows the total Satellite Rainfall Estimates (RFE) of last week which shows moderate to heavy rains within the basins. Middle and Lower Juba regions received the highest amounts of rainfall of more than 100mm in total over the week. Map 2 shows the rainfall forecast for coming week valid until 24 April 2018 and is calling for more rains in the basins. Following the good rains river levels along the Juba and Shabelle rivers continued to rise reaching the high flood risk levels in the upper and mid sections of the two rivers. Given the rainfall forecast and the high river levels, there is a high risk of flooding in the middle and lower reaches of the Juba and Shabelle rivers with some sections having experienced overbank river flow due to weak river embankments and open river breakages. Flash floods in built up and low lying areas within the basins cannot be ruled out during the period under review

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Flood watch bulletin

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Somalia Flood Alert! - Issued: 23 April 2018

Within the last few days, heavy downpour has been experienced in many parts of the Juba and Shabelle River basins both in Somalia and in the Ethiopian Highlands. Flash floods have been reported in some areas within the basins including Gedo, Bakool and Bay regions. Following the heavy rains, the river  levels have increased drastically in the entire reaches of the two rivers and are a few centimeters to reach the bank full levels at Luuq and Belet Weyne. The rainfall forecast for the next seven days (23 to 29 April, 2018) is pointing towards moderate to heavy rains  within the Ethiopian highlands  and inside Somalia.  Observed river levels along the  Juba and Shabelle Rivers are expected to continue rising further in the coming week following the foreseen heavy rains. There is therefore an immediate high risk of flooding along the two rivers given the current situation. Areas to watch include; Belet Weyne and Jowhar towns (Shabelle) and their environs; where the river levels are currently at full crest, Dollow , Bardheere and Bualle town (Juba) and their environs, Other riverine towns in the Middle and Lower Shabelle regions such as Balcaad and Kurtunwaarey as well as those in Lower Juba. Flash floods in Bay and Bakool regions also cannot be ruled out given the rainfall forecast.

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Flood Alert

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