Somalia: Flash Floods - Apr 2020

Status
Ongoing
Glide
FF-2020-000055-SOM

Disaster description

The 2020 Gu’ rains (April-June) have intensified across Somalia, triggering flash flooding in South West State, Jubaland, Bandir, Puntland and Somaliland from 20-23 April. As water levels rise in rivers, there are reports of riverine flooding in Jubaland. FAO’s Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) reported heavy rains in Somaliland where on 26 April, Lughaye and surrounding areas received unusually heavy rains of 102mm. On 23 April, heavy rains were also received within the Juba river basin. SWALIM forecasts increased rainfall activity in most areas in Somalia and in the Ethiopian highlands in the coming week, which is likely to keep the water levels high in the Shabelle and Juba rivers. The flooding has started barely four months after heavy Deyr (October-December) rains inundated parts of Somalia, affecting over half a million people; and as the country works to contain the COVID-19 virus, which is exponentially rising and has already infected several hundreds of people. The country is also working to contain a desert locust infestation. OCHA, 24 Apr 2020)

Since 20 April, heavy rain has been affecting most of Somalia States and territories (particularly South West, Jubaland, Banadir, Puntland, and Somaliland) as well as the neighbouring central and south Ethiopia since 24 April, causing rivers to overflow and triggering floods that have resulted in casualties and damage. The worst affected area is the Juba river basin and the Shabelle river basin. In Somalia, as of 29 April, media report 10 fatalities, a number of missing people, around 20 injured people, hundreds more displaced, as well as damage to infrastructure in Qardho Town (Bari Region, west Puntland). (ECHO, 29 Apr 2020)

The number of people affected by flooding in Somalia has risen to 546,103, of whom 216,895 people have been displaced from their homes and 16 others killed since the Gu’ rains started in early April. At least 27 districts are inundated; the worst being Belet Weyne in Hiran region where riverine flooding has displaced more than 115,000 people, according to the district flood taskforce. This includes about 91,000 people who have been displaced from the four sections of the town and 23,220 people from 23 riverine villages. The flooding resulted from a sharp rise in the level of the Shabelle river following heavy rains in Somalia and the Ethiopian highlands. According to the taskforce, more people were fleeing their homes as river levels rise. As of 10 May, the river levels reached 7.93 meters which is 0.37 meter below the bank full level of 8.30 meters. (OCHA, 11 May 2020)

Ongoing flash and riverine flooding in Somalia has affected about 918,000 people, of whom 412,000 have been displaced and 24 killed, in 29 districts, as of 16 May. The risk of disease outbreaks is high due to crowding in areas where displaced people are seeking temporary shelter. (OCHA, 16 May 2020)

Flood waters started receding in some areas of Somalia, as the seasonal Gu’ (April-June) rains decline. In Belet Weyne district, Hiraan region, where 240,000 people including 11,400 IDPs were displaced, flood waters started receding on 19 May. The district was the worst affected after the Shabelle river burst its banks. Twenty-five riverine villages which were submerged since 10 May are drying up and farmers are preparing to take advantage of the moist soil and start planting. In the downstream areas of Middle Shabelle such as Jowhar district, where riverine flooding affected more than 98,000 people in 37 locations, gradual recession of flood water is reported. Along the Juba river, the water level is at bank full in some parts of Gedo region such as Baardheere, Doolow and Luuq. Downstream areas of Saakow, Buaale, Jilib and Jamame districts are flooded. However, a gradual drop in water levels was reported. (OCHA, 24 May 2020)

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