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Weekly Updates: Africa | Asia | Latin America

20 January 2011

Africa Update #13

There is only one way to describe what is currently going on in southern Africa right now: widespread flooding, encompassing parts every county in the region.

Here is the run down, in a roughly north to south fashion:
Angola: Reports have been slow to get out of Angola lately so based purely on satellite products, it appears that the southern half of the country, away from the coast, and the north central areas are the most likely to be contending with flooding and excess rain issues at the moment.

Zambia and Malawi: Both countries have received downpours every day this week. Flooding is likely just about everywhere.

Tanzania: Flooding has shut down roads leading from Dar es Salaam into the interior parts of the country. Southern Tanzania has also had very heavy rainfall during the past week, resulting in localized flooding there.

Mozambique: Flooding in the central part of the country, especially along the Zambezi River, further south in Maputo, Gaza Province and near the Limpopo River.

Madagascar: Mainly in the northern interior parts of the island, communities along rivers are at risk as the flood waters drain downstream, causing additional flooding.

Namibia: Flooding is reported in the critical growing area around the Caprivi Strip. Flooding in Northern Cape, South Africa extends to the north side of the Orange River and has made traveling between the two countries difficult at best.

Botswana: The Mogobane Dam has been overflowing for days, and flooding has been observed in the critical growing areas in the southeast of the country. Several border crossing with South Africa have been closed. Flooding is also likely in the sparsely inhabited central areas of the country.

Zimbabwe: The entire country has received a week-long deluge. It would surprise me if there were any portion of this country that has not been mildly affected. The worst affected areas will be those near the Zambezi River as the excess water in the Caprivi Strip has nowhere to go but downstream.

South Africa: Damage from floods is estimated at R300 million in KwaZulu-Natal alone. Additional damage reported in Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and North East. As of now the Maize Triangle (and Free State) is largely in the clear.

Lesotho and Swaziland: The same flooding problems in KwaZulu-Natal are occurring here, and damage is reported up to Maputo, Mozambique.

Season-long precipitation anomalies are sky high just about everywhere except central Madagascar, Tanzania and Mozambique's northern coast. Next week will bring additional heavy rains to all of southern Africa. The rains typically begin to pull out of the region in March.

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