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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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Juba River Flood Extent Map as at 10 November 2019

The rains in the Juba and Shabelle river basin and the Ethiopian highlands continued to subside giving relief to the flooding experienced in the riverine areas. Along the Juba river, flood waters affected about 78 settlements. Analysis from satellite images indicate that a total of 79,229 Hectares were inundated as of 10 November 2019. This includes 29,748 ha of agricultural land and 48,481 ha of natural vegetation.

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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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Rainfall Forecast

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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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Flood Alert

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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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Flood Alert

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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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