Sudan – Dozens Killed in Floods, Over 100,000 Affected

The UN says that the flood situation in Sudan has deteriorated further.

In late July, the UN reported that 70 people had died and 80,000 affected by the floods. Since then the numbers have increased.

The UN report says that 83 of the deaths occurred in Kassala. This figure has since been revised downwards.  Nineteen fatalities were reported in Al Gezira. Other fatalities have been reported in East Darfur (2), River Nile (2), South Darfur (5), South Kordofan (1) and West Kordofan (2). Many of the deaths were a result of drowning or occurred when homes or buildings collapsed.

The floods and heavy rain have left around 25,000 houses completely destroyed or severely damaged.

The United Nations Humanitarian Office (OCHA) in Sudan says that 161,730 have now been affected by the floods. In respect of numbers affected, the worst hit areas include Kassala (29,2910 affected), South Darfur (34,045), Sennar (16,980), West Kordofan (14,340), Al Gezira (10,795), Gedaref (11,355), South Kordofan (8,485), North Darfur (10,470) and White Nile (10,160).

Flooding has also been reported in Blue Nile, Khartoum, North Kordofan, Northern State and West Darfur.

The UNOCHA adds that the Government of Sudan is leading and coordinating the response, and has reactivated the Flood Task Force (FTF) at federal and state levels. The FTF includes representatives from line ministries, the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), Civil Defence Authority, the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) and United Nations agencies.

OCHA explains that floods are common in Sudan in rainy season. “The predominant types of floods are localised floods caused by exceptionally heavy rains and run-off (flash floods), and widespread floods caused by overflow of the Nile, its tributaries, Gash River and other rivers. Though flash floods are generally short in duration, these events can cause major damage to villages and urban and agricultural areas located in catchment and drainage zones. Nile floods usually originate from heavy rainfall over catchment areas of the Ethiopian plateau, which causes unpredictable surges in the flow of the Blue Nile.”

IFRC Sudanese Red Crescent Northern State, Sudan. August 2014. Volunteers from the Sudanese Red Crescent are engaged in search and rescue as well as evacuation activities in the affected areas.
IFRC, Sudanese Red Crescent, Northern State, Sudan. August 2014.
Volunteers from the Sudanese Red Crescent are engaged in search and rescue as well as evacuation activities in the affected areas. Photo: IFRC

Famine Early Warning Systems Network say that the total rainfall since early July is nearly 150% of the normal levels over many parts of eastern Sudan and western Ethiopia. This well above average rainfall will leave many areas vulnerable to further flooding over the next several weeks.

Next week, heavy rainfall is expected in western Ethiopia, which may cause flooding and increase levels of the Nile and Al Gash Rivers in Sudan.

The state of Kassala has been one of the hardest hit, particularly areas along the Gash River. Over 80 people have died and around 30,000 people affected. The satellite image below shows some of the flooded areas (marked in red) in Kassala.

Flood water marked in red. This map illustrates satellite detected waters over the central part of Kassala state in Sudan extracted from Landsat-8 imagery (30m) 08 August 2016. Since late June, it has been observed that the water expansion are predominantly located in areas along the Gash river banks. Image: UNITAR/UNOSAT under Creative Commons
This map illustrates satellite detected waters over the central part of Kassala state in Sudan extracted from Landsat-8 imagery (30m) 08 August 2016. Since late June, it has been observed that the water expansion are predominantly located in areas along the Gash river banks. Image:  UNITAR/UNOSAT, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Flood summary

Last updated: September 2, 2016
Event
Sudan, June to September 2016
Date
June 1, 2016
Type
Flash flood, Inland flood, River flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall, Long-term rainfall
The rainy season in Sudan has affected over 200,000 people, left over 100 dead and thousands of homes destroyed.Affected states are Kassala, South Darfur, Sennar, West Kordofan, Al Gezira, Gedaref, South Kordofan, North Darfur, White Nile, Blue Nile, Khartoum, North Kordofan, Northern State and West Darfur.

Locations

A - Kassala
B - South Darfur
C - Sennar
D - West Kordofan
E - Al Gezira
F - Gedaref
G - South Kordofan
H - North Darfur
I - White Nile

Damages

Fatalities
98 people
June 1 to August 26, 2016
Buildings destroyed
22,097
June 1 to August 31, 2016
Affected
204,000
June 1 to August 31, 2016
As of 23 August, Kassala (29,2910 affected), South Darfur (34,045), Sennar (16,980), West Kordofan (14,340), Al Gezira (10,795), Gedaref (11,355), South Kordofan (8,485), North Darfur (10,470) and White Nile (10,160).By end August, the figures increased: Kassala (55,880 affected), South Darfur (38,575), and Al Gezira (23,280)Flooding has also been reported in Blue Nile, Khartoum, North Kordofan, Northern State and West Darfur.