Somalia Flood Advisory for Juba and Shabelle Rivers - Issued 20 November 2023
Juba River Moderate to heavy rains received for about two weeks have generated run off that have caused the water levels along the entire Juba River to overflow their riverbanks causing devastating floods which have led to damage to crop lands and road infrastructure rendering them impassable and cutting off access in to and out of towns and other human settlements. Following heavy rains (125.0 mm) recorded yesterday 19th November 2023, the bridge at Luuq has been reportedly overtopped and is at risk of being swept away. The rains over Bardheere have been particularly intense with 108 mm, 35 mm, 96 mm and 58 mm of rain having been observed on 16th, 17th, 19th and 20th November 2023, respectively leading to sweeping away of Budubo bridge. Heavy rains have also been received downstream at Bualle with 71.0 mm being recorded yesterday, 19th November 2023. The light to moderate rainfall forecast over Juba River catchment in Ethiopian Highlands and within the Somalia border in Luuq district of Gedo region will generate runoff of less volume compared to previous week. However, the runoff from the previous moderate to heavy rains and ongoing light to moderate rains will sustain the river overflows and flooding at Dollow and Luuq. Run off from both ongoing and forecast moderate to heavy rains over the Juba River downstream catchment at Bardheere district in Gedo region and parts of Middle Juba region will generate enough runoff leading to increased river overflows and flooding at Bardheere, Saakow, Bualle and Jilib districts. There is therefore SUSTAINED FLOODING along the entire Juba River with INCREASING MAGNITUDE at both Bardheere and downstream at Saakow, Bualle and Jilib. The activated response plans should therefore be sustained along the upper stretch and upscaled downstream at Bardheere, Saakow, Bualle and Jilib. Shabelle River Water levels along the Shabelle River have been steadily increasing in the last three weeks. The river reached bankful level (8.30m) at Belet Weyne on Saturday 11th November 2023. The subsequent riverbank overflow led to massive floods in Belet Weyne town and the surrounding areas leading to damage to buildings, crop lands and rendering the passage into and out of town impassable due to bridge overflows. Based on timely advisories from SWALIM, SoDMA/MoHADM and other partners, the population was safely evacuated to designated higher grounds by the time the floods started. Moderate to heavy rains have been reported along the Shabelle River catchment with 70 mm, 31.8 mm and 29 mm received yesterday, 19th November 2023, at Bulo Burte, Jowhar and Balcad, respectively. The flow of the flood wave downstream coupled with moderate to heavy rains have led to river level rise at Bulo Burte to 32 cm above high flood risk level and only 48 cm below bankful. At Jowhar the level is only 10 cm below moderate risk level and 60 cm to bankful. Even if the flood wave is expected to flow downstream beyond Balcad in the coming days, floods have already been observed as a result of river breakages and flash floods. The light to moderate rainfall forecast over Shabelle River catchment in Ethiopian Highlands and within Hiran region in Somalia will generate runoff of less volume compared to previous week. However, the runoff from the previous moderate to heavy rains and ongoing light to moderate rains will sustain the river overflows and flooding at Belet Weyne and steady river level rise downstream at Bulo Burte, Jalalaqsi, Jowhar and Balcad. There is therefore SUSTAINED FLOODING at Belet Weyne and its environs and HIGH RISK OF FLOODING at Bulo Burte and its environs and PROJECTED HIGH RISK at Jowhar and its environs. The activated response plans should therefore be sustained at Belet Weyne town and the surrounding areas. The evacuation plans should be activated and sustained at Bulo Burte and surrounding areas, while it should be placed on standby at Jowhar and surrounding areas.
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