Within the last 48 hours, heavy downpour has been experienced in many parts of the Juba and Shabelle River basins both in Somalia and in the Ethiopian Highlands (Table 1). Flash floods have been reported in some areas including Belet Weyne and Mogadishu. Following the heavy rains, the river levels have increased drastically in the upper reaches of the two rivers. This high river level is expected to translate into high levels downstream thus endangering vulnerable communities.
The rainfall forecast for the next seven days (18th to 24th April, 2015) is pointing towards moderate to heavy rains within the Ethiopian highlands and inside Somalia as seen in Map 1. Observed river levels along the Juba and Shabelle Rivers are expected to continue rising further in the coming week following the foreseen heavy rains.
There is therefore high risk of flooding in the coming few days in the lower reaches Shabelle rivers given the current situation and the foreseen rains. Areas to watch include;
Jowhar town and its environs; where the river level currently is at full crest,
Other riverine towns in the lower Shabelle region such as Balcaad and Kurtunwaarey There is no risk of flooding that is foreseen along the Juba River during the same period.
The foreseen heavy rains are also likely to cause flash floods in low lying areas.