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Tunisia: Flash Floods - Operation Update Report DREF n° MDRTN009

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Description of the disaster

Heavy rainfall began around 12 September 2020, where Monastir city, capital of the Monastir Governorate and many other towns around recorded 47.8 mm of rain in 24 hours, while Sidi Bouzid and many other surrounding towns of this governorate recorded 58 mm. During the same period, Mahdia and all belonging localities recorded more than 40 mm of rain in 24 hours during 3 separate days. Kairouan recorded 89 mm of rain. Kef governorate registered similar amounts of rain especially in Sers locality.

Floods struck several districts of the capital, Tunis. Some areas were under 1 meter of water, leaving roads impassable and buildings damaged. Orthopaedic hospital in the governorate of Manouba was flooded; water reaching archives and hospitalization rooms National Institute of Meteorology (Institut national de la météorologie) of Tunisia issued warnings for further heavy rainfall on 13 and 14th of September. Consequently, floodwater surged through many different districts damaging infrastructure, houses, properties, and livelihoods of the community members. During this period, media reports said at least 6 people have died in floods after days of torrential rainfall in Tunisia, hundreds were rescued, and thousands of homes damaged. More than 40,000 people have been affected by the floods. Some of them fled their homes seeking shelter in neighbouring high-ground houses and communities, while other chose to stay in their damaged houses moving to rooftops rather than risking crossing flooded areas to reach evacuation points. Water supply through pipelines was limited, and water available in some areas contaminated. Electricity has been cut off in certain districts to avoid risk to people and electrical damage.