Flood Update for River Shabelle - Issued: 08 September 2020

Flood watch bulletin
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The upper parts of the Shabelle Basin in the Ethiopian Highlands continued to receive moderate rains during the last week. High river levels along the entire channel of Shabelle River also persisted with an increase of flood extents in Belet Weyne and Jalalaqsi districts. Today, 08 September, the river level at Belet Weyne is bank-full and there has been overbank spillage in parts of the town. Thousands of people have been displaced and have started to evacuate from high-risk areas to low risk areas since yesterday. In Bulo Burti, the river level is at high risk level of 7.00m and is expected to increase further. The river level at Jowhar remains high and is at 4.90m as of today. Flooding is currently reported also in Jalaalaqsi. The rainfall forecast for the week ending on 14 September 2020 indicates moderate rains in the Ethiopian highlands and minimal rains inside Somalia. Therefore, the levels are expected to continue rising along the entire channel of Shabelle as more waters from the eastern Ethiopian highlands are still streaming in. High risk of flooding is foreseen along the Shabelle during this week. It is advisable that riverine communities within low-lying areas of Belet Weyne who have not evacuated yet to do so, while following guidelines by the local authorities. Existence of river breakages (109 points identified and reported by SWALIM in Septemebr 2020) along the Shabelle is likely to exacerbate the flooding.
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Date of publication: 
September, 2020