Severe weather, including thunderstorms, hail storms, heavy rains and floods over the last 3 days has affected parts of the Middle East. As many as 19 people are reported to have died as a result of the severe weather in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, where flooding has also affected refugees in displacement camps.
Meanwhile, Tropical Cyclone Chapla could hit parts of Yemen and Oman with strong winds and heavy rain over the next few days.
Media reports in Iran say that as many as 6 people have been killed in floods over the last 2 days.
At least three people have died in floods in Iran’s Ilam province after heavy rain fell across parts of the west and north of the country from 28 October 2015. Two of the victims died in the city of Ilam, the other in the city of Dehloran.
One person is reported as still missing in the floods in Ilam province, which also damaged houses and roads in several districts, and cut water and electricity supply to many customers.
Iranian’s Press TV say that the floods have also affected neighbouring provinces of Lorestan, Kurdistan and Kermanshah. A family of three, including a child, were killed in the city of Kuhdasht in Lorestan after they were trapped inside their house.
Heavy rain led to flash flooding in some northern areas of the country over the last few days.
Arab News are reporting that 6 people have died as a result of flash floods. At least 5 of the victims were in vehicles at the time, including a mother and two children who died after their car was swept away by flood water in Shuaib Valley, 10 km west of Tareef.
Local Civil Defense officials say that they have carried out over 50 flood rescues. Further rainfall is forecast for both northern and southern areas of the country until 04 November 2015.
Severe weather, including thunderstorms and heavy rains, affected several areas of Iraq between 28 and 29 October. Roads were blocked by flood water in Baghdad, as well as in Mosul and Basra, prompting Iraqi authorities to announce an official public day off in all Iraqi cities.
According to media reports, the Iraqi government announced a state of emergency to try and deal with the floods, after hospitals and governmental institutions were swamped.
Some media are reporting at least one casualty. Others say that as many as seven people were recorded dead and dozens injured when their houses collapsed and refugee camps in Baghdad and Erbil were flooded.
Further severe weather, including heavy rainfall, may still continue affecting northern and south-eastern Iraq over the next 5 days.
Dire Conditions in Displacement Camps
Following the torrential rains, dire conditions are reported in areas with high concentration of internally displaced persons (IDPs), displaced as a result of the ongoing conflict in Anbar and Salah al-Din Governorates.
ECHO report that displaced families living in critical shelter conditions in the districts of Abu Ghraib and Yousfiya, in Baghdad governorate, Mushayb, in Babyl governorate, and Samarra, in Salah al-Din governorate, have lost their tents. They are severely exposed to contaminated water, in areas of active cholera outbreak, and increasing number of children suffer from respiratory tract infections, as a result of the recent floods and harsh weather. ECHO is working closely with Shelter, WASH and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) cluster partners to provide an integrated response, able to scale up winterization and targeted shelter/WASH upgrades in central governorates.
Increase in Cholera Cases
ECHO also report that the number of laboratory confirmed cholera cases in Iraq is close to reaching the 2,000 mark.
The case fatality ratio remains of 0.1 at the moment. Iraqi Ministry of Health, with WHO support, will conduct a targeted Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) mass preventive immunization campaign, for vulnerable populations in refugee and IDP camps, throughout the country.
Tropical Cyclone Chapla – Oman and Yemen
Tropical Cyclone Chapla is over the Arabian Sea and is likely to move towards eastern Yemen and south-western Oman over the next 48 hours. Strong winds, heavy rains and storm surge may affect eastern and central Yemen and south-western Oman between 02 to 04 November 2015.
Israel, Lebanon and Kuwait
Flooding has also been reported in the Sharon region of Israel. Street flooding has been reported in Lebanon, including the roads around Beirut airport, notorious for flooding. Kuwait also experienced heavy rain and some street flooding, as the images from social media below demonstrate.
Meanwhile the severe weather in Saudi Arabia has since changed from torrential rain to hail storms, as can be seen from video clips below.
Hail and floods in Saudi Arabia
— البروفيسور الهلالي (@abo_smsm1436) October 29, 2015
— .yousef nasr (@yousef121nasr1) October 28, 2015
— Zaid Benjamin (@zaidbenjamin) October 29, 2015
— Zaid Benjamin (@zaidbenjamin) October 29, 2015
— هاشتاق العرب (@TheArabHash) October 28, 2015
— المجلس (@Almajlliss) October 28, 2015