Tropical Cyclone Sagar - May 2018
A tropical cyclone formed in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and northern Somalia on 16 May 2018. The cyclone system caused heavy rains along the coast of Puntland on 17 May. Flash flooding was reported in the Bari region, which were not limited to seasonal riverbeds. The road linking Bossaso and points south has reportedly been affected. There are also reports of some fishing boats having been washed away by waves off the coast of Sanaag region, which along with Sool are disputed between Somaliland and Puntland. The two authorities have been engaged in an armed standoff in Sool that had displaced almost 10,000 people prior to the storms arrival, further complicating an already complex humanitarian picture. By 18 May, the cyclone had gained strength, reaching tropical storm-wind levels and assigned the name Tropical Cyclone Sagar. Heavy rains are projected for the escarpment and plateau of Somaliland. (OCHA 19 May 2018)
In Somaliland, the largest concentration of fatalities were reported in coastal Galbeed and Awdal, where the cyclone made landfall. Houses were destroyed, and livestock washed away. The heavy rains and subsequent flooding are hindering humanitarians’ ability to access some of the areas affected by the cyclone to assess the extent of the damage and provide assistance. In Puntland, severe weather conditions also resulted in fatalities, livestock loss and the destruction of farms, property and infrastructure including fishing boats...Meanwhile, forces from Puntland and Somaliland have been engaged in an armed standoff in Sool that had displaced almost 10,000 people prior to the cyclone’s arrival, further complicating an already complex humanitarian picture. By the morning of 20 May, meteorological authorities were reporting that Sagar was beginning to weaken into a tropical depression. The tropical depression itself has remained over parts of Ethiopia, Djibouti and north-west Somaliland, about 140 kilometres from Hargeisa. (OCHA , 20 May 2018)
Most read reports
- Somalia: Humanitarian Dashboard - August 2018 (issued on 17 September 2018)
- Humanitarian Bulletin Somalia, 1 August - 5 September 2018
- Report of the Secretary-General on Somalia (S/2018/800)
- UNICEF Somalia Humanitarian Situation Report #6: 1 January to 30 June 2018
- Monitoring food security in countries with conflict situations: A joint FAO/WFP update for the United Nations Security Council (August 2018)
• In response to the cyclone Sagar in May, UNICEF distributed Immediate Response WASH and dignity kits benefitting 700 affected households (including IDPs and surrounding host community) in Damerjog, an IDP site located just outside Djibouti;
• Over the reporting period, 842 people in drought affected areas gained access to adequate sanitation;
OVERVIEW OF THE CONTINUING CRISIS
Conflict intensifies in Al Hudaydah Governorate; humanitarian actors prepare for additional displacement
First containerized vessel delivers supplies to Al Hudaydah Port since November 2017 port closures
Health actors launch cholera and diphtheria vaccination campaigns in high-risk areas
Note de synthèse
The tropical Cyclone Sagar landed in northern of Somalia on 21 May, causing devastation, death and displacement, delivering an entire year’s worth of rain in a matter of hours and affecting thousands of people. In addition, continued flash and river flooding in the southern and central areas of the country has compounded the already fragile humanitarian situation due to drought, conflict and marginalization.
Tropical Cyclone Sagar with winds between 110 -115 km/h formed in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and Somalia on 19 May. It made landfall on the northwest coast of Somaliland as a Tropical Storm with 56 km/h winds, resulting in a year’s worth of heavy rains and flooding (ADAM 19/05/2018). The storm caused extensive destruction, including loss of livestock and crops, destruction of homes and critical infrastructure, and mass displacement (OCHA 23/05/2018; OCHA 20/05/2018).
On 23 May 2018, tropical cyclone “Mekunu” swept through the island of Socotra flooding it heavily. On 24 May, the Government of Yemen declared a state of emergency and called on humanitarian organizations to support relief efforts. At the time of this report, rains have stopped and the cyclone is on course to make landfall in western Oman and eastern Yemen on 26 May.
On 19 May, Tropical Cyclone Sagar made landfall in North-western Somaliland bearing winds in excess of 120 km/h and an entire year’s worth of rain (200-300mm) affecting approximately 700,000 people and widespread destruction of property, infrastructure and the loss of livestock (Government of Somaliland 21/05/201; GDACS 19/05/2015; SWALIM 18/05/2018). The cyclone led to flooding that impacted populations previously devastated by droughts and that had not yet recovered, further worsening existing food insecurity. Urgent needs include food, shelter, WASH, and health (OCHA 20/05/2018).
UNITAR – UNOSAT, following the request of UNOCHA Djibouti , has performed a rapid flood assessment to illustrate the impact caused after the passage of Tropical Cyclone Sagar-18 over Djibouti & Balbala. For this rapid flood analysis UNOSAT has used post-event cloud free images of the area, collected on the 20th & 21st May 2018, 3 meters resolution.
On 21 May, the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC)-led Flood Task Force issued a revised Flood Alert, based on the monthly National Meteorology Agency (NMA) forecast for the month of May 2018. The latest NMA forecast informs of a shift of the heavy rainfall from south eastern Ethiopia (mainly Somali region) to the central, western and parts of northern Ethiopia, including Afar, Amhara, Gambella, southern Oromia, parts of SNNP and Tigray region.
• Despite ongoing conflict, humanitarian access to parts of Al-Wazi’iyah and Mawza districts in Taizz Governorate has improved, including from Aden and Al-Turbah City.
• Hundreds of families have fled military operations in Altuhayat District, Al Hudaydah Governorate, with an estimated 705 arriving in Zabid and Al-Garrahi districts.
• Heavy rains affected several governorates in the southern coastal areas as Cyclone Sagar passed the Gulf of Aden, but minimal damage was reported.