Heavy rains cause fatal flooding in Ethiopia and Somalia, with 83,000 people evacuated.
Seasonal rains continued to intensify in most parts of East Africa during the fourth week of April 2020, resulting in a significant increase in rainfall, causing deadly flooding in Ethiopia and Somalia. About 83,000 people were displaced.
Since April 20, rains have hit most of the Somali States and territories, triggering a river flood that has resulted in fatal flooding. Damage and casualties were reported, especially in the Bay and Bakool areas.
According to UN OCHA and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about 81,000 people have been displaced and about 55,000 affected in the southwest of the country; over 2,000 people were displaced and 300 people were injured in Jubaland; about 4,500 people were injured in Puntland and over 700 people were injured in Banadir.
FAO added that compared to the first two weeks, there has been a significant increase in precipitation in most parts of Somalia, as well as in the eastern parts of the Ethiopian Highlands. Many areas have been hit by heavy rains for more than three days in a row.
The rains have replenished pasture resources - milk productivity and livestock conditions have improved. However, the downside was flash flooding in parts of the country when the Juba and Shabelle rivers overflowed.
Most stations recorded 50 to 100 mm of precipitation from 24 to 27 April. In and around Belet Wayne, the river level has risen sharply and is now 6 m. Meanwhile, the water level in Bulo Burti is likely to rise rapidly in the next few days.
In the last 24 hours alone, the river level in Jowhad has risen by 1 m. Water levels are projected to continue to rise throughout the Shabelle Canal as more water from the Ethiopian Highlands flows into it.
There is also a high risk of flooding along the Shabelle River this week in early May. FAO warned that river floods could worsen flood situations if urgent action is not taken.