Indian Ocean Dipole spells flood danger for East Africa
By Ben Parker
Hundreds of thousands of people in East Africa are affected by heavy rains and floods linked to record-breaking temperature changes in the Indian Ocean.
Hameed told The New Humanitarian that equatorial East Africa is “very, very likely” to be unusually wet from October to December, adding: “November is the most dangerous month as far as IOD impacts are concerned, as enhanced rains reach far into highlands and the watersheds of several rivers.”
Floods around the South Sudanese town of Maban, fed by rivers from highland Ethiopia, have affected 200,000 people. The UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, reports that although floods at this time of year in the region are normal, the scale of Maban’s this year is “unprecedented”.
Local rainfall and increased river flow from Ethiopia makes flooding in October “highly likely” in many southern areas of Somalia, according to a report from the Food and Agriculture Organisation.