OCHA Flash Update #2 Cyclone Sagar aftermath in Djibouti | 22 May 2018
• The estimated number of people affected by flooding following Cyclone Sagar has increased to 25,000 to 50,000 and two fatalities have been reported.
• Flood waters are now subsiding but several areas remain inundated.
• Response is underway, under the leadership of the Government.
On 19-20 May, 110mm rainfall was recorded across Djibouti as a result of Cyclone Sagar; the equivalent of the average rainfall for an entire year. The rains caused heavy flooding, mostly impacting the Djibouti City area. The bed of Ambouli Oued, a seasonal river, reached its capacity (90cm) but did not overflow.
Authorities have revised the estimated number of people affected upward to around 5,000 to 10,000 families (25,000 to 50,000 people) and two fatalities have been reported. At least 1,500 shelters have been damaged in Djibouti town alone, impacting at least 7,000 people, and this number is expected to rise as assessments continue.
Families whose homes have been damaged are seeking assistance at community development centres (CDCs), where the State Secretariat of Social Affairs (SEAS) has initiated distribution of assistance. These families are the highest priority for assistance, as many lost most or all of their belongings. Tents, non-food items (NFI) and food have been identified as immediate needs.
Although the flood waters are now subsiding, and traffic between Djibouti town and the suburb of Balbala has been restored, several areas remain inundated. Several locations remain without power as electric stations were impacted by flooding and the risk of electrocution is high. At least 16 schools have been flooded and work is under way to clean them up to allow the final exams for 135,000 students—scheduled for this week and now postponed to Sunday—to take place.
Additional rainfall is likely in the coming days due to the formation of another weather system in the Arabian Sea. Although the weather system is not expected to make landfall in Djibouti, further heavy rains are possible and would compound the impact of the recent floods.