Heavy rains in late October have caused flooding in and around Baghdad, as surface drainage is minimal. Sewer systems have overflowed and caused open sewage to mix with floodwaters. The floods also contributed to increased power outages as many power stations were flooded and authorities have reported deaths caused by electrocution. Roads were damaged and drainage systems blocked even days after the rains stopped. The Iraqi Prime Minister on 1 November declared the status of emergency in areas overwhelmed by the heavy rains.
Humanitarian partners estimate that the floods have affected at least 84,000 displaced people staying in more than 40 sites and camps, mostly in Baghdad and Anbar governorates. On 5 November, the rains started in Baghdad again after a few days respite. The number of affected people may rise as partners receive more information about conditions on the ground. Flooding has also been reported from other governorates including Diyala, Salah al-Din and Sulaymaniyah. (OCHA, 8 Nov 2015)
At least 58 people have died in the recent floods, most killed by electrocution in the capital. Roads across the country were cut by the waters and sewage backed up. The downpours were particularly devastating in Baghdad, where crumbling infrastructure, weakened by 30 years of war and endemic corruption, played its part too. This year’s rains also hit northern Iraq, causing flash floods in the Kurdistan cities of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah. Aid workers said water levels reached up 1.5 metres inside some houses. (IRIN, 12 Nov 2015)