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Green flood alert in Namibia Tue, 15 Mar 2011 00:00 +0000
Source: Dartmouth Flood Observatory based on media analysis
The flood started on 3/15/2011 and ended on 4/19/2011 11:59:59 PM, with a duration of 36 days. This flood has severity class 2 (i.e. this is an extreme event with an estimated recurrence interval greater than 100 years).
The main cause is Heavy Rain.
The alert score is based on the reported death and displaced. Red = 1000 or more people killed or 800000 or more people displaced. Orange = 100 or more people killed or 80000 or more displaced.
Reports indicate that 62 person(s) have been killed and 10000 have been displaced. No reports on damage have been found. The flood affected a region of approximately 102874.48 km2.
For the following locations damage has been reported: North and northeastern regions, Oshakati, Cuvelai, Kwanham, Namacunde, Caprivi
The approximate geographic location of this flood is -18.19 latitude and 20.64 longitude. This is the centroid of the affected area, as determined by the place names mentioned in the media.
April 15, 2011: "AN estimated 13 000 or more Caprivians are living in emergency camps after they were forced to flee their flooded homes.The number could rise to 20 000 as more people flee their homes and make their way towards tented flood shelters set up by Government and the Namibian Red Cross Society (NRCS).Kingsley Kwenani, the man in charge of disaster management for the NRCS, confirmed yesterday that all residents of the flood-prone Kabbe constituency had been relocated.He said the Kabbe constituency is completely flooded.Many of the relocated people are from the Katima Mulilo Rural constituency, which also has been flooded.Kwenani added that authorities are consolidating numbers and the "projected figure" of displaced persons in the Caprivi region could top 20 000.In 2009 over 23 000 were displaced by floodwater in low-lying areas of the Caprivi while last year saw "close to 15 000" people displaced by floods, Kwenani said."Initially the situation in the Caprivi was bad, but now things are more stable," he said.And although the "final flood wave" will pass Katima Mulilo in the coming week, Kwenani said displaced Caprivians continue to trickle into the camps.The 13 flood relocation camps are equipped with minimum requirements such as tents and sanitation, although one camp is still struggling without latrines.Kwenani warned that hygiene at the camps is of critical importance considering the risk of waterborne diseases and the fact that the camps are densely populated."We need to be very careful at this stage," he said.Kwenani is making his way to the Kavango Region, where he says an estimated 1 200 people have so far been relocated to flood centres set up by government and the NRCS.Guido van Langenhove, head of the Namibian Hydrological Services, has confirmed that the "final flood wave is getting to its peak" in the Kavango Region.Van Langenhove said although water levels this year in the Zambezi and Okavango rivers did not peak as high as in the past two years, the floods came earlier and the water stayed high for longer."So the impact was different this year," he said.Hakusembe Lodge owner Lena Mudge said the Okavango has experienced three flood waves. In her 13 years of living next to the river, it has never happened before."Usually only one flood wave comes," she said. She confirmed that the river is stabilising now and that residents hope it is the last flood wave of the year." March 31, 2011: "Namibia President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in northern parts of the country after heavy flooding displaced nearly 10 000 people and washed away roads. "I and my Cabinet colleagues have discussed the prevailing situation in depth, consulted various experts ... and I have come to the conclusion that I declare an emergency situation in the north and north-eastern parts of our country," Pohamba said at State House.About 62 people have drowned in Oshakati, 720km north of the capital Windhoek and 5 000 have been driven from their homes.Pohamba told reporters that 247 schools had had to close because of rising water levels, with clinics and homes submerged.Since January heavy rains have been pounding the northern parts of the country, resulting in high water levels in the Zambezi River along the north-eastern Caprivi region and the Okavango River which borders Angola."Namibia is once again experiencing most devastating floods ... this could be the worst flood disaster in [its] recorded history," Pohamba added.He said he was worried that floods may affect crops of maize, which is the country's staple food, and the government has made available 30-million Namibian dollars ($4,37-million) to address the emergency.More rain in southern Angola was expected to increase chances of flooding in north-central parts of the country, where rainfall is also expected.In March 2009, floods killed 92 people in this southern African desert country""Many business operations have come to a standstill while subsistence farmers are likely to experience serious hunger this year, as rain and flood water in the north and north-east regions of the country reach "disastrous levels never experienced in recent memory".The exact losses are yet to be tabulated but so far, business owners estimate the losses to amount to millions of dollars in damages to properties, merchandises and loss of business in Oshana and Ohangwena regions, where floods have displaced about 2000 people.Mahangu fields are under water in most villages of Oshana and Ohangwena regions, as well as in northern parts of Omusati region, dampening hopes of any harvest this year.Heavy and constant down pours, together with the flood in central Cuvelai area continue "rising water levels to record heights", according to the hydrological services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.This would escalate the situation in the regions.The ministry describes the "situation [is] disastrous in Oshakati and other areas" saying there is " no longer denial or hesitation regarding the fact that the flooding situation in the Cuvelai area is a major disaster for the local population and for Namibia."Water levels are also on the rise along Kavango River, on the northeast of the country, although the condition further up in Caprivi region is somewhat stable. Hydrologists continue to observe the situation.Several northern businesses have "suspended operations for now" as areas become impassable. Last week, the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry entered into talks with Bank of Namibia for relaxation of regulations on credit extensions to corporations that would have problem honouring their financial obligations due to the floods."" The deputy minister of Interior for Civil Protection and Fire Service, Eugénio Laborinho, said Wednesday in Ondjiva, southern Cunene province, emergency measures to assist victims of floods around the country have been adopted.According to the official, the measures focus on equipping Provincial Civil Protection Commissions with technical and human means to lessen the effect of floods and assistance to victims.He said heavy rains have been pounding several regions of the country, with stress to the provinces of Huíla, Malanje, Namibe, Bié and Uíge.Eugénio Laborinho stated as well that immediate assistance to flood affected populations is guaranteed.The official said populations from most affected localities in Cunene province and others have started to get assistance that includes food, medicines, tents, zinc sheets, mosquito nets and relocation in safer zones.While stating the situation is under control, the deputy minister spoke of the need for more effort toward a decent accommodation of the needy populations.He recommended the populations to remain in safe zones and abandon risky places.Eugénio Laborinho, who is expected back in Luanda on Thursday, has visited the areas of Cuvelai, Kwanhama and Namacunde."
The Global Flood Detection System uses passive microwave remote sensing to observe surface water for large floods. Statistical anomalies in surface water are shown as red areas, which correspond roughly to the flooded area. Extreme rainfall also causes anomalies, but is masked by the yellow layer (TRMM rainfall).
Flash floods and landslides cannot be recorded by microwave remote sensing. These events are caused by extreme rainfall in susceptible mountainous areas. The map below shows the extreme rainfall recorded by the Tropical Rainfall Monitoring mission in the last 24h (mm/24h). More information.
While we try everything to ensure accuracy, this information is purely indicative and should not be used for any decision making without alternate sources of information. The JRC is not responsible for any damage or loss resulting from the use of the information presented on this website.
Information related to the flood has been collected from official and media reports by the Dartmouth Flood Observatory. The impact analysis is performed by the Joint Research Center of the European Commission.
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