OCHA Flash Update #1 Tropical Cyclone Sagar impacts Djibouti | 20 May 2018



• Cyclone Sagar has caused heavy rain and flash floods in Djibouti.

• Initial estimates indicate that 20,000 to 30,000 people may have been affected, with Djibouti City and the suburb of Balbala hardest hit.


Heavy rains due to Cyclone Sagar have caused flash floods in Djibouti, particularly in Djibouti City and the suburb of Balbala.

An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people have reportedly been affected, according to authorities. Whilst the level of water is decreasing, most schools have reportedly been impacted to some degree and community development centres (where people would ordinarily be relocated in case of disaster) have also been affected. Several main roads are currently impassable, almost cutting off traffic between Balbala suburb and central Djibouti City. Some shelters in Damarjog have been affected.

No major needs have been recorded in other regions. However, in Obock, two sectors of town were reportedly flooded (no major needs recorded), in Ali Addeh refugee settlement (Ali Sabieh province) some shelters were reportedly damaged by heavy rains, and in Tadjoura, electric poles and a radio repeater were reportedly damaged, affecting communications.

There is a risk of environmental pollution, as key infrastructure has been flooded, including the central electrical compound. Separately, the warehouse of the National Office of Assistance for Refugees and Disasters (L'Office National d'Assistance aux Réfugié et Sinistré (ONARS)), was affected by a fire which was rapidly brought under control.

Djibouti remains on alert as another weather system is forming and may impact the country later this week.


The Government has established a crisis cell at the firefighters headquarter, where some UN officials are also located. Several people have been rescued from flooded houses, and motor pumps to extract water and other support are being provided.

Water pumps, aqua tabs and water purification are top priorities, including to prevent the potential spread of waterborne diseases. Tents and non-food items—including hygiene products, soap, clothes, towels, buckets, blankets and mattresses—are also priorities for those whose homes have been impacted by the flooding. Additional needs are being evaluated.

All UN agencies and other partners are mobilizing stocks available in Djibouti and the region.

The next Flash Update will be issued as required, as soon as more information is available.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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