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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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Somalia Rainfall Forecast: Issued 19 November 2019

The last two weeks saw a significant decrease in rainfall activities in Somalia as well as the Ethiopian highlands. Consequently, there was a gradual reduction of river levels along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers. Flood waters also have been receding in Belet Weyne,Bulo Burti and Jalalaqsi in Hiraan Region, this has left the local communities and authorities with concern following damage of properties and livelihoods and possible spread of diseases. Currently, the Shabelle River remains at moderate risk of flooding while the Juba River is at no risk of flooding this week. 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 Bay, Bakool, Middle and Lower Shabelle regions within the southern areas of the country. Similar amounts of rainfall are also foreseen in Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed, Togdheer and Sool regions in the north. River levels along the Shabelle remain high and are anticipated to remain so in the coming week given the current situation and foreseen rains. There remains a moderate risk of flooding along the river. Observed river levels along the Juba continued to drop and are currently within the normal at this time of the year. Mild to moderate levels of flash floods are expected in low lying areas of Bay, Bakool and northern regions in the coming week.

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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 20 November 2019

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 50mm to 80mm are anticipated in the north western regions on 22nd and 23rd November 2019. The north eastern parts of the country which have remained dry since the beginning of the season are expected to receive light to moderate rains during the forecast week. The Juba and Shabelle Basins within Somalia and Ethiopia will also see an increase in rainfall activities, as more than 100mm of rainfall is foreseen in the upper reaches of the catchments inside Ethiopia. The central regions of Mudug and parts of Nugaal will remain mostly dry. River levels along the Shabelle remain high and are anticipated to remain so in the coming week given the current situation and foreseen rains. There remains a moderate risk of flooding along the river. Observed river levels along the Juba continued to drop and are currently within the normal at this time of the year. Given the forecast the levels will start to increase towards the end of the week with minimal risk of flooding along the Juba. Mild to moderate levels of flash floods are expected in low lying areas of Gedo, Bay, Bakool and northern regions in the coming week.

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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 Flood Update - Issued 22 November 2019

The Deyr rains continued into the second month of the season with a significant reduction over the last two weeks. However, the last few days have seen light to moderate amounts of rainfall in scattered areas across the country. 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, flood waters that invaded the town since the last week of October have now receded and the situation is getting back to normal notwithstanding the negative impacts left by the ravaging waters. River levels at a Belet Weyne, Bulo Burti and Jowhar as the well as the lower reaches of the river have been dropping gradually over the last week and are still above normal for this time of the year. The river levels are expected to remain high along the entire channel of Shabelle as more rains are foreseen in the Ethiopian highlands and inside Somalia. Moderate risk of flooding remains along the Shabelle 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. 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 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 previous weeks, which improved the situation in terms of flooding. Puntland, Somaliland and Central regions: soma parts of Somaliland continued to record rains in the month of November while there were minimal rainfall activities in Puntland. The rainfall forecast for the coming week shows continuing rainfall activities in many parts of Somalia and in the Ethiopian highlands. As a result, given the already saturated soil moisture there is a moderate risk of flooding along the two rivers. Flash floods will also be experienced in low-lying areas of Awdal, Woqooyi Galbeed Bakool, Bay and coastal areas of Galgaduud and Mudug regions. 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 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 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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