Observed river levels of the Shabelle River in Somalia have been rising for the past one month. This has been attributed to heavy rains in the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands and localized rains in Lower Shabelle. The current Shabelle river levels at the upper reaches in Somalia are within historical normal range, while the lower reaches are at bank full levels. This has resulted in over bank spillage leading to riverine floods in parts of Genaale and Afgooye.
The rainfall forecast for the coming week (12th to 25th August, 2013) is pointing towards moderate to heavy rains within the upper parts of the Ethiopian highlands and within Lower Shabelle inside Somalia. Observed river levels along the Shabelle River are expected to continue rising further in the coming week following the foreseen rains.
There is therefore high risk of flooding in the coming few days in the lower reaches of the Shabelle river given the current situation and the foreseen rains. Areas to watch include Jowhartown and its environs; where the river level is currently at full crest(Figure 1), and other riverine towns in the lower Shabelle region. The situation could be further exacerbated by weak river embankments and open river banks
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