Iraq – Flash Floods Leave Thousands Displaced and 21 Dead

Update, 03 December 2018

Further heavy rain fell in Iraq from around 29 November according to media reports. Chinese News Agency Xinhua said the province of Nineveh declared state of emergency on Saturday, 01 December, 2018.

In a statement, the provincial government said the floods swept through several districts in the provincial capital Mosul. Around 85 families have evacuated their homes.

Meanwhile the Iraqi Red Crescent Society report that more than 800 families affected by flooding in Shirqat district, Saladin Governorate have registered with the IRCS. Relief teams have distributed relief items, including food parcels, health kits, mattresses and blankets.

Image of Floods in Wasit Governorate

International Charter Space and Major Disasters and ICube-SERTIT have produced images of some of the flooded areas. The map below shows the flooded areas around Kut town (Al-Kūt, also Kut al-Imara or Kut El Amara) a city of 375,000 people in Wasit Governorate in eastern Iraq, on the left bank of the Tigris River. The image is derived from a Sentinel-1 image acquired on 26 November 2018.

Flooded areas in Kut, Iraq, November 2018. Image: SERTIT

Full image can be seen here (pdf).


Original report, 26 November 2018

Heavy rainfall from 22 November caused severe flooding across Iraq, leaving thousands displaced and 21 dead.

Other areas of the Middle East have also seen heavy rainfall over the last few days including Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Floods in Zarbatia district in Wasit governorate Iraq, November 2018. Photo: Iraqi Red Crescent Society

In Iraq, flash floods have led to the damage of property, livestock, and infrastructure in Nineveh, Salah ad Din and the southern governorates of Maysan, Wasit and Basra, according to a World Health Organisation report.

News Agency AFP, quoting Iraq’s health ministry, said that 21 people have died and 180 injured as a result of flooding and severe weather.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said more than 10,000 people in Salah ad Din and 15,000 people in Ninewa governorates are in urgent need of assistance, including thousands of families living in IDP camps. Thousands of homes have been damaged in the al-Sharqat district of Salah ad Din. The UN reported that roads blocked by flooding and debris have hampered delivery of some response items.

Last week the Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) said it had provided urgent relief and food aid for the families besieged by flooding in Zarbatia district in Wasit Governorate.

Rain during early November caused flooding in Diyala Governorate, where local media reported that wide areas of were cut off and some rescues carried out. Wide areas of the Middle East were also affected by heavy rain during early November, in particular Jordan, and late October.

Meanwhile an 6.3 earthquake occurred in western Iran, close to the border with Iraq, on 25 November. The epicentre was located 20 km south-west of Sarpol Zahab town (Kermanshah Province), about 155 km north-east of the Baghdad area.