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Somalia Flood Update - Issued 28 November 2019

Rainfall activities continued in parts of Somalia with some regions experiencing flash floods following heavy downpours. Some of the areas affected by flash floods in this week include Mogadishu, Erigavo, Zeylac and a few pockets of Lower Juba. The last two days have however seen a significant reduction of rainfall activities across the country as we approach the end of the rainy season. Shabelle River: Since the last week of October more than 50% of Belet Weyne inhabitants fled from their homes. With the reduction of rainfall activities in the Ethiopian highlands and within Somalia, flood waters have now completely receded and most people returned to their homes. There is no risk of flooding in the coming week. Satellite image analysis indicate that more than 128,066 Hectares of land along the Shabelle of which more than 50% is agricultural land (80,041 ha) was inundated during the month of October and November. On the positive side, riverine farmers would make strategic use of the flood water to secure a good off season harvest, before it dries up in the next month. Extended season also brings extended agricultural labor opportunities and related wages. Juba River: Along Juba River the levels dropped gradually over the last two weeks consequently reducing the flood impacts. Riverine floods along the Juba during the month of October and early November left a total of 79,229 Hectares of land inundated of which 29, 748 Hectares is agricultural land. This has damaged farmland and crops leading to livelihood losses. The levels are expected to decrease in the coming week with no 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 previous weeks, which improved the situation in terms of flooding. Puntland, Somaliland and Central regions: Heavy rains recorded from 22 November left parts of Somaliland and Puntland flooded. However, the situation has so far improved and there is no risk of flash floods in the coming week. The rainfall forecast for the coming week shows a significant reduction of rainfall activities across Somalia and in the Ethiopian highlands. As a result, flood situation is expected to improve during the week in forecast. Larger parts of the north eastern regions have remained dry since the beginning of the season. This includes great parts of Bari, Mudug and Nugaal region. 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 further depletion of water resources and pasture in the coming weeks.

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Flood watch bulletin

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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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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 Alert

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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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Flood Alert

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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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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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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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