Zimbabwe: Flash Floods - Feb 2014
Heavy rains in parts of Zimbabwe in late January and early February 2014 resulted in deaths and displacement of people, coupled with destruction of property. The worst affected areas were Chivi and Masvingo districts in Masvingo province and Tsholotsho district in Matabeleland North (OCHA, 07 Feb 2014). On 11 Feb, Zimbabwean authorities launched an international appeal for $20 million to help some 20,000 people displaced by flooding (Govt, 12 Feb 2014).
By the end of February, an estimated 2,194 households had been moved to the Chingwizi resettlement camp(OCHA, 28 Feb 2014). By 16 May, an estimated 15,625 people were living at Chingwizi(OCHA, 16 May 2014). In August, the Government officially closed the Chingiwizi transit camp (The Zimbabwean, 19 Aug 2014).
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The 2014/2015 Southern African rainfall season, which stretches from October to May , saw severe floods in the east of the region. The remainder of the region experienced poor rains that were late to arrive and irregular.
Malawi, Mozambique and Madagascar were hit by multiple floods between December 2014 and April 2015 (accounting for 97% of all flood affected people) . A total of 10 tropical storm systems were monitored during the season, with tropical storms Chedza and Fundi affecting Madagascar in early 2015.
The South African Government has placed an immediate ban on the entry of non-South Africans from the Ebola-hit West African countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF), taking place from 27 to 29 August in Windhoek, Namibia, will develop the first regional seasonal forecast for the coming rainfall season.
Two cases of Ebola have been confirmed in northern DRC, which are said to be a different strain to the outbreak in West Africa.
During the 2013/2014 rainfall season (October 2013 - May 2014), severe weather events caused flooding in several Southern African countries, with almost all affected by some level of flooding. Nine tropical cyclones were recorded during the season, compared to the seasonal average of ten, of which three made landfall: Hellen, Amara and Deliwe. A total of 383,256 people were affected and 117 deaths reported. 195,000 USD was issued in the form of OCHA emergency cash grants to assist in response activities.
An estimated 383,261 people were affected by floods or storms and at least 117 people lost their lives during the 2013/2014 rainfall season.
Tropical Cyclone Hellen, which impacted Mozambique, Comoros and Madagascar in late March, was one of the most powerful cyclones ever recorded in the Mozambique Channel.
In Zimbabwe, the more than 15,625 people evacuated remain in dire living conditions.
Syria: Fierce fighting between opposition groups has led to further displacement in Deir-ez-Zor while a truce between the Government and the opposition is expected to see the Old City of Homs handed over to the Government after its recent campaign to retake it.
Syria: The security situation had deteriorated with escalating violence in the West of the country resulting in population displacement and hampering the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Large numbers of newly displaced are heading to the calmer regions of Idleb governorate, which hosts over 500,000 IDPs. In the East, Iraqi helicopters hit an opposition convoy in the first strike claimed by Iraq inside Syria since the conflict began.
JANUARY– MARCH 2014 RAINFALL HIGHLIGHTS
Significant rainfall was received in most parts of SADC as a result of an active inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and the attendant active tropical incursions into the region. The eastern part of the contiguous SADC and the highland states received the highest rainfall.
The seasonal anomalies to date indicated:
Above normal rainfall conditions stretching from eastern Namibia to Southern Mozambique, Mauritius and parts of Madagascar
Syria: Violence continues with government forces shelling areas recently gained by opposition fighters in Lattakia province, along the western Turkish border. In the northeast, aid convoys have crossed from Turkey, enabling relief agencies to deliver assistance to communities in need at the border area. In a further political development, the Turkish government stated its readiness to launch cross-border military operations in Syria if its national security was threatened.
Syria: Fighting continued, with rebel forces making noteworthy gains of strategic Government strongholds in Lattakia and near Aleppo. Syria's air force bombarded a suburb northwest of Damascus, killing seven and violating a truce that had been in place since October. The total number of Syrians registered or waiting to register as refugees outside Syria stands at 2,597,427. The total number of people displaced internally and externally now exceeds 40% of Syria’s pre-conflict population.
Syria: Tensions continue to run high across the country, with Government forces retaking control of a key rebel supply route in the southwest, and insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) moving eastward after months of infighting between rival opposition groups in the northwest. Over nine million people have been uprooted from their home since the start of the crisis three years ago, and the international community continues to push for humanitarian access in conflict-affected areas, notably in the northeast of the country.
Heavy downpours have caused flooding in north-central Zambia, southern Zimbabwe, and northern Mozambique.
Light to moderate rains were observed over the Greater Horn of Africa during the past observation period.
1) Heavy downpours during the past week have caused the Licungo River to burst its banks, inundating expansive cropping areas, infrastructure, and houses downstream. Although reduced rains are forecast over the region during the next week, any additional rain may exacerbate the ground conditions, including elevated risks for waterborne disease outbreaks.
As of 3 March 2014, 39 cholera cases and 3 deaths have been reported in Katutura, Windhoek. All patients have been discharged from the hospitals. The Red Cross is busy erecting tents for the CTCs and has requested DDRM to assist with better and stronger tents; as well as expertise from the National Defence Force to assist in putting up tents. Needs identified include provision/distribution of water purification sachets to communities, improved active surveillance of new cases and strengthening of the prevention campaign in different languages and media.
Torrential rains continued over saturated areas in Zambia and Mozambique
An extended dry spell continued during the past week over southern Uganda, increasing rainfall deficits.
Heavy downpours during the past observation period have caused flooding over many local areas of eastern Southern Africa.
1) Abundant rains over the past several weeks have led to elevated river levels along the Púnguè, Búzi and Save Rivers in central Mozambique. Localized flooding has occurred that has inundated crop fields, damaged infrastructure, displaced local populations and isolated towns. River levels are expected to remain near or above alert level during the next week.
− Heavy rains cause floods in several parts of the region in January
− Elevated flood risk for central parts of the region in the month of February
− Armyworm outbreaks pose a threat to food security in central parts of the region
− Water supply challenges faced in areas where poor rainfall performance continues
The 2012/13 rainfall season was erratic, with torrential rainfall early in the season followed by dry conditions over parts of the region.
Insufficient rains and droughtlike conditions in the west and south-west of the region led to a poor agricultural season and death of livestock, resulting in heightened food insecurity.
Armyworm and red locust outbreaks in Southern Africa, although largely contained, may lead to secondary outbreaks this year.
Torrential rains caused flooding across Zimbabwe during the past several weeks.
1) Portions of Tanzania have experienced below average seasonal rainfall since late November. Poorly distributed rains since early December have also led to developing dry conditions in the Morogoro and Pwani provinces further east. The anomalous dryness has already negatively impacted vegetation conditions in the region. Recent rains, though, have reduced long-term deficits and improved ground conditions.
− Rainfall performance improved significantly in December 2013
− Sowing rains received in all major grain producing areas by end of December
− Improvement in vegetation conditions observed in many parts of the region
− Food situation likely to get worse in Zimbabwe as authorities battle to address food shortages
− River levels rise in the Zambezi basin, but remain below alert levels
− Cholera outbreak in Northern Namibia
− Diarrhoeal diseases claim dozens of lives in Zimbabwe