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Flood Update for Shabelle River Issued: 13 August 2020

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During the last week, there was a reduction of rainfall amounts in the southern parts of Somalia. On 11th August, a heavy storm was observed in Somaliland in Salaxley area, about 60 km south of Hargeisa. The rainfall station in that area recorded a total of 44 mm in less than 24 hours. This led to a significant damage of infrastructure including schools, houses, roads, electricity and interruption of communication network in the area. Moderate to heavy rains persisted in the upper reaches of the Shabelle Basin in Ethiopia during the same period. Consequently, river levels in Belet Weyne and other stations along the Shabelle inside Somalia continued to rise. Todays’ river level at Belet Weyne is 6.85m which less than half a meter below the high risk level of flooding. The rainfall forecast for the coming week (13—19 August 2020) is pointing towards moderate to heavy rains within the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands. Little or no rains are foreseen in the basin within Somalia. Observed river levels along the Shabelle River are expected to continue rising further in the coming week following the foreseen rains in the upper catchment. Flooding in the middle and lower reaches of the Shabelle will be sustained in the coming week given the current situation and the foreseen rains. Areas to watch include Belet Weyne, Jalalaqsi, Jowhar town and its environs; where the river level is near full crest and other riverine towns in the Lower Shabelle region. The situation could be further exacerbated by weak river embankments and open river banks. Information on the forecast and observed river levels is updated daily and can be found on this link: http://