Weather service warns of flash floods

27 February 2020 | Disasters

More than 25.6 million cubic metres of water has streamed into Namibia's dams over the past two days, while a warning has been issued that widespread thundershowers will continue over the northern, Omaheke and Khomas regions today.

The Namibia Meteorological Service warned that flash floods are expected in these regions and that necessary precautions should be taken.

Since Monday, seven of the country's dams have again recorded noticeable inflows, with the Hardap Dam receiving 16.09 million cubic metres of water. The level of the Hardap Dam by yesterday stood at 26.1%, up from Monday's 20.6%. The rate of inflow yesterday at the dam was 81.4 cubic metres per second.

Meanwhile in the central area of Namibia, the Von Bach Dam had an inflow of 3.13 million cubic metres of water. This increased the level of the dam from 82.4% on Monday to 89% yesterday. The rate of inflow was 6.4 cubic metres per second.

The level of the Swakoppoort Dam increased from 34.9% to 40.5% with inflow of 3.51 million cubic metres recorded since Monday. The dam was yesterday morning still receiving inflow at a rate of 29.8 cubic metres per second. The Omatako Dam had inflow of 1.75 million cubic metres and its level increased from 33% to 37%. The Naute Dam in the south also received some inflow, with 0.184 million cubic metres recorded. The level of the dam increased from 80.4% to 80.7%.

Inflow of 0.148 million cubic metres was recorded at the Otjivero Main Dam, which increased its level from 11.3% to 12.8%, while a slight inflow of 0.82 million cubic metres of water was recorded at the Oanob Dam. This increased the level from 52.6% to 52.8%.

According to the river bulletin issued on Tuesday by the hydrological services within the agriculture ministry, flow was observed in most of the interior rivers such as the Omatako, Swakop, Omaruru, Kuiseb and Fish rivers following good rainfall over most parts of the country.

It said that the Okavango River level continues to rise rapidly especially at Nkurenkuru, with the water level having increased by 17cm since Monday morning and recorded at 5.83m on Tuesday.

“Our monitoring station at Rundu recorded 7.15m and this remains above normal and higher in comparison to the past four years. Contingency planning for flood mitigation and recovery must be activated in the Kavango West and Kavango East regions and communities living in areas prone to flooding must take precautionary measures.”

The Zambezi River level at Katima Mulilo continues to rise and the water level on Tuesday was 2.14m, which is below normal levels.

The flow of the Kunene River at Ruacana was 940.90 cubic metres per second on Tuesday.