Southern Africa: Floods - Jan 2015

Status
Past disaster
Glide
FL-2015-000006-MWI

Disaster description

Heavy seasonal rainfall starting in December 2014 has caused flooding in Southern Africa. As of 16 Jan 2015, 135,000 people had been affected in Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar and Zimbabwe. (OCHA, 16 Jan 2015)

The Southern Region of Malawi received 400% higher rains than usual (compared to the Long Term Mean) causing the Shire River to reach its highest level in 30 years. Heavy rains experienced in the first quarter of 2015 caused flooding in 15 of the 28 districts in Malawi, most of which are located in the southern part of the country. The President declared a state of disaster on 13 January 2015. (IFRC, 17 July 2015) On 21 Jan, a Preliminary Response Plan was presented to the Office of the Vice President, seeeking $81 million to address the immediate needs of up to 638,000 people affected by floods. In July 2015, a Revised Emergency Appeal issued for CHF 2,946,922 for 46,700 people and Appeal timeframe extended to December 2015. (IFRC, 22 Jul 2015) An outbreak of cholera was confirmed with the first cases crossing the border from Mozambique in February 2015. As of 23 June 2015 there had been 693 reported cases and 11 deaths.

The Council of Ministers declared an institutional red alert on 12 January 2015 after a period of heavy rainfall caused severe flooding across central and northern Mozambique. According to the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) 373,026 people were affected in Zambézia, Nampula, Niassa, Cabo Delgado and Manica provinces. 14,361 houses were partially damaged, while 21,780 were completely destroyed. Furthermore, the floods caused extensive damage to public buildings and infrastructure, loss of crops and livestock. The Mozambican Red Cross (CVM) concentrated its efforts to support 17,620 displaced people (3,524 households) in Zambézia and Nampula provinces. The targeted districts in Zambézia were Mopeia, Namacurra, Mocuba and Maganja da Costa, while in Nampula the districts were Mussoril and Meconta. Exacerbated by the heavy rainfall and flooding, a cholera outbreak, which started on 25 December 2014, quickly expanded to Tete, Sofala, Zambézia, Nampula and Niassa provinces. A total of 8,835 cases and 65 deaths were recorded. (IFRC, 21 Oct 2015.)

Zimbabwe experienced widespread flooding across the country, with the worst affected provinces including Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Midlands. According to preliminary assessments, approximately 6,000 people (1,200 households) have been affected, of which 2,500 people (500 households) are in urgent need of assistance. The flood-affected population has moved to higher ground, with some seeking refuge in schools. (IFRC, 13 Jan 2015)

In Madagascar, weeks of heavy rainfall had already caused high river levels and soil saturation when Tropical Storm Chedza crossed the island on 16 Jan. Continuing rainfall not only exacerbated the impact of Chedza, but also caused flood conditions over the north of the country. (OCHA, 21 Jan 2015) Following the breakdown of the Sisaony dam, the flooding in the greater Antananarivo worsened, and on 27 February 2015, a Red Alert (danger) was declared. On 23 March 2015, an operations update was issued to allow for the expansion of the activities to support an additional 2,000 households (10,000 people) which were affected by the floods, and who were living in camps in the city of Antananarivo. A total of 5,000 households (25,000 people) have been targeted for assistance by the CRM. (IFRC, 01 Jan 2016)

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