Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Southern Africa: Floods Situation Report (as of 30 January 2013)


Heavy rains continue to fall over northern Mozambique, causing floods in some areas and affecting at least 510 people. Parts of northern and central Madagascar are also
recording heavy rainfall from the same low pressure system located in the Mozambique Channel. Felleng, now a Category Three Tropical Cyclone and expected to strengthen to Category Four in the next 24 hours, continues its southward trajectory, about 200 km parallel to the eastern coast of Madagascar. Felleng is projected to bring three to four days of rainfall to the eastern coast of Madagascar; flooding is expected.

Situation Overview

While the flood response in southern Mozambique is continuing, new cases of flooding are being reported in northern Mozambique. Tropical Cyclone Felleng is moving parallel to the eastern coast of Madagascar, and while not projected to make landfall, flooding is still expected. River levels are also high across the region.


Tropical Cyclone Felleng threatens east coast

Felleng, now a Category Three Tropical Cyclone and expected to strengthen to Category Four in the next 24 hours, continues its southward trajectory, about 200 km parallel to the eastern coast of Madagascar (See annex for a planning map of districts likely to be affected by Felleng).

Felleng is projected to bring three to four days of rainfall to the eastern coast of Madagascar. Floods are expected on the eastern coast and possible in the capital Antananarivo (in part also due to the low pressure system in the Mozambique Channel that is bringing rain to parts of northern and central Madagascar and northern Mozambique.

In Antananarivo, the floods contingency plan has been activated. An emergency meeting has been held between the city council and the Red Cross to establish temporary shelters and prepare for possible evacuations.

In other regions, the National Bureau of Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC) is working with the Red Cross to prepare for possible evacuations. Two BNGRC teams will be deployed to areas at risk, and a Medair Team is already in place.

The UN Country Team has also met and stands ready to respond in support of BNGRC.


New floods in northern Mozambique

Heavy rain continues to fall over northern Mozambique, causing floods in many areas. In the Maganja da Costa district in Zambezia Province, 105 houses have been damaged, affecting 510 people. Assessment of the damage is ongoing.

As more rains over northern Mozambique is expected over the next few days, the situation requires close monitoring.

National authorities have requested sector leads to strengthen their support to provincial Emergency Operation Centers (COE) in the provinces of Zambezia, Cabo Delgado and Niassa.

Mozambique, in dealing with the floods in the south, is already stretched to capacity, therefore additional flooding in the north could have serious humanitarian implications. Flood response continues in the south

The distribution of food and relief supplies by Government and partners in the flood
affected areas in southern Mozambique are ongoing.

Due to high number of people in temporary shelters, the Disaster Management
Technical Council (CTGC) has recommended the strengthening of protections measures in all shelters in Gaza Province.

The UN is sending a helicopter to Gaza to support the provision of relief supplies and to enable access to isolated areas, such as the districts of Chigubo and Chicualacua.

Sanitation is still a major concern in Chokwe district, as well as in the temporary shelters. There is a need for water purification supplies and materials to construct latrines, as well as for antibiotics, oral rehydration salts and mosquito nets. More tents and shelter kits are required to assist those that remain unsheltered. As the
number of those in need continue to increase, more food is also needed. The following information has not changed since yesterday’s report:

At least 48 people have died in severe floods that have devastated southern Mozambique. Some 250,000 people have been affected, of which 146,000 people are still being housed in temporary shelters. Access to some areas continues to be an issue, with many roads and bridges washed away.

The rains over southern Mozambique have ceased for the time being, and the floodwaters are slowly subsiding. Still, many have lost everything in the floods and will thus require continued humanitarian assistance.

The Government of Mozambique, supported by the UN and partners, are responding; and while much support is being provided, more is needed. The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) is drafting response plans, which should be launched within the next few days. It is hoped that these will be adequately supported, in order to save lives and livelihoods.


Flooding in northern Botswana

No new information has been received since yesterday’s report. The information below still the latest:

Flooding due to extremely heavy rains has been reported in the North-East and Central districts of Botswana.

It is still unclear how many people have been affected. However, in Dukwi Refugee Camp around 120 shelters housing 325 refugees have been damaged by high waters. Sewage systems in the camp are also affected. The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), together with Botswana Red Cross Society (BCRS), has responded to address the immediate needs of the affected people. The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, is supporting the Government of Botswana to assist displaced refugees and has provided food and other basic materials.

The prepositioned relief supplies of both NDMO and BCRS has now been completely exhausted, which could affect their ability to respond to any further flooding that may occur. A full situation report is expected shortly.


The low pressure system in the Mozambique Channel will continue to bring heavy rains to northern Mozambique and northern and central Madagascar over the next week. Tropical Cyclone Felleng will also bring heavy rains to the entire eastern coast of Madagascar. Significant rainfall is also forecasted for central South Africa, including Lesotho, as well as much of Zambia and Malawi. The following week
(07 to 15 February), rain is again expected over southern Mozambique, which may again increase water levels.

This report is produced by OCHA Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It was issued by OCHA ROSA. It covers the period from 29 to 30 January 2013. The next report will be issued on or around 01 February 2013.

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