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The worst #drought in 90 years hits the #Khomas region in #Namibia

Drought Emergency Alert_2

THE Khomas region is experiencing its worst drought in 90 years, according to official rainfall figures released by the Namibia Meteorological Service this week.

The region received less than a third of its normal quantity of rainfall over the past rainy season from October last year to the end of April this year. The bulk of the north-central regions of the country received about a third of their normal seasonal rainfall, and most of the Erongo, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions recorded less than 40% of their normal rainfall totals, figures released by the weather service show.

The Meteorological Service also reported that while the eastern parts of the Zambezi region received between 60% and 80% of their normal seasonal rainfall totals during the 2018/19 rainy season, the situation was worse in the western parts of the region, which has ended up experiencing its worst drought in the last 59 years.

At the weather service’s head office in Windhoek, 106,7 millimetres of rain was measured during the past rainy season – the lowest annual figure since 1929/30, when a seasonal total of 97 mm was recorded at the same spot.

The past rainy season has also been drier in Windhoek than during the 1981/82 season, when a total of 126,2 mm of rain was recorded at the Windhoek Met Office during a severe drought that had Namibia in its grips.

Windhoek’s total rainfall during a normal rainy season is around 355 mm.

The end-of-season rainfall bulletin also shows that the situation is even more serious at Witvlei in the Omaheke region, where only 67 mm of rain was recorded from October to April. This is 79% below the normal seasonal total of 317,7 mm.

At Steinhausen, north-west of Gobabis, a near-normal rainfall total of 317,5 mm was recorded from October to April, though – only 8% below the normal seasonal total of 343,7 mm.

At Rundu, 334 mm of rain was recorded from October 2018 to the end of April 2019 – 41% below the town’s normal seasonal rainfall total of 568,6 mm.

The rainfall total of 168,7 mm recorded at Ondangwa during the past rainy season is 63% below the town’s normal seasonal total of 450,8 mm. At Grootfontein, the seasonal total came to 230,2 mm at the end of April, which is 57% below the town’s normal figure of 540,3 mm.

In the southern part of the Kunene region, 105,6 mm of rain was recorded at Khorixas during the past rainy season. That is 52% below its normal seasonal total of 220,4 mm.

The seasonal total of 31 mm measured at Gochas is 82% lower than the normal total rainfall of 176,4 mm in that part of in the Hardap region during an average rainy season.

At Keetmanshoop, 36,2 mm of rain was measured during the past rainy season – 76% below the
//Kharas town’s normal seasonal total of 151 mm.

The failed rainy season is also reflected in the levels of the main dams supplying water to Windhoek. On Monday, the Von Bach and Swakoppoort dams were storing a combined 29 million cubic metres of water – compared to about 55 million cubic metres a year ago, and more than 62 million cubic metres at the same stage in 2017.

According to the City of Windhoek, city residents again failed to meet water saving targets over the past week. While the city has set a weekly water consumption target of no more than 465 000 cubic metres, actual consumption recorded over the past week was 497 332 cubic metres of water.

Water restrictions in the city are set to be tightened from the start of July.

Courtesy of namibian.com.na

https://tinyurl.com/y29rdcfn

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STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED DUE TO MAJOR FLOODING IN NIGER, KOGI, ANAMBRA AND DELTA

State Of Emergency
As many as 100 people have died in flooding in Nigeria over the past two weeks, according to disaster management authorities. Thousands are thought to have been displaced, particularly in communities along the country’s major rivers.
 
Over the past few weeks many areas have experience localized flash flooding due to storms bringing high intensity rainfall, including in Jigawa, Niger, Kano and Nasarawa states.
 
However, wide areas of the country now face flooding from the country’s major rivers after long-term rainfall in Nigeria and river catchments in neighbouring countries caused the Niger and Benue rivers to rise to danger levels.  Earlier this week Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) declared a state of emergency for flooding in the four states of Niger, Kogi, Anambra and Delta.
 
Other affected States have been placed under close watch, including the states of Kebbi, Kwara, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Adamawa, Taraba, Benue and Nasarawa.
 
NEMA has set up 5 Emergency Operation Centres (EOC) to facilitate prompt search and rescue operations as well as humanitarian supports in the states worst affected by flooding. According to NEMA, the Emergency Response Centres will be responsible for planning, organizing, directing and supervising deployment of resources with the affected state governments and local authorities and communities. “The primary objective is to localize the responses and expedite intervention to save lives and facilitate quick recovery,” NEMA Director General Mustapha Maihaja said.
 
In late August Nigeria’s Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) warned communities in Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Anambra, Delta and Bayelsa states that increasingly high river levels could cause major flooding. Major dams had already begun releasing water as high flow from the upper catchment of the Niger basin moved downstream to Nigeria.
 
As of 30 August, the Niger river at Lokoja stood at 8.84 metres, above the 8 metre warning level and rising towards 10 metre red alert. Lokoja is the capital of Kogi State and lies at the confluence of the Niger and Benue rivers and downstream of the Kainji and Jebba dams.
 
As of 07 September the Niger river at Lokoja stood at 10.01 metres and by 18 September had reached 11.06 metres. NIHSA says that rivers are at similar levels to those seen in the lead up to the devastating floods of 2012. On 29 September 2012 the Niger river at Lokoja reached a record high of 12.84 metres.
 
The River Benue is also rising, though it is not yet at levels similar to those of 2012. NIHSA says that water releases from the Shiroro, Kainji and Jebba Dams is contributing to the rise in river levels. The Lagdo Dam in Cameroon however is not releasing water, according to NIHSA.
 
According to forecasts from NiMet, further heavy rain can be expected over the next 3 weeks, particularly in northern areas of the country.
 
NIHSA said that flash flooding is also likely to continue in some areas and communities should prepare.
 
“Localized urban flooding incidents being witnessed in some cities and communities in the country are expected to continue due to high rainfall intensity of shorter duration, rainstorms, blockage of drainage system and poor urban planning, as well as coastal flooding resulting from sea rise and storm surges. States and Local Governments should endeavour to remove structures built within the floodplains, clear blocked drainages, culverts and other waterways,” NIHSA added.
Courtesy of floodlist.com

MAJOR FLOODING KILLS DOZENS AND DISPLACES 100,000 PEOPLE IN NORTHERN GHANA

Severe Flood Warning
Long-term heavy rainfall combined with water releases from the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso, have caused severe flooding in northern Ghana over the past few weeks.
 
Ghana’s National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) said that at least 34 people have died. The country’s northern regions – Upper West, Upper East and Northern – have all been affected. Local media reported that as many as 100,000 people have been displaced.
 
Much of the flooding is a result of the overflowing White Volta river. Releases from the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso over the last few weeks have increased levels of the river in northern Ghana. SONABEL, the power utility in Burkina Faso with responsibility for the Bagre Dam, started releases in late August after heavy rainfall in catchment areas had increased dam levels.
 
Ghana’s NADMO said that water in the dam rose by about 80 percent in the month of August 2018, as compared to a 50 percent rise in August 2017. In late August the Volta River Authority (VRA) warned communities along the White Volta river to prepare for flooding and take necessary precautions.
 
By early September the rate of water release had increased and the flood situation had worsened. Local media reported at least 7 dead and 100,000 displaced. Since then the death toll has increased significantly and flooding has caused widespread damage to farmland, roads and infrastructure including bridges, leaving many communities cut off.
Courtesy of floodlist.com