The UK Met Office issued a severe weather advisory for the Gulf of Aden at 01:30 (local time) on Wednesday, May 16. According to current forecasts, a tropical cyclone is expected to develop in the Gulf of Aden within the next 24 hours. The heaviest rainfall is expected to impact northern Somalia, particularly the Puntland region. Between 50-100 mm (2-4 in) of rain may fall across the region, with up to 250 mm (9.8 in) possible in some areas. Significant flash flooding and river flooding is predicted in the event of heavy rainfall, along with losses of human life and livestock. Potentially significant flooding would also likely cause damages to crops, buildings, and infrastructure.
Rains from the Gu rainy season (which runs from March to May) caused significant flooding throughout Somalia in April. However, northern parts of the country historically experience little to no rainfall during the season. Even a modest amount of rainfall in the area is likely to cause flash floods and large amounts could significantly impact the region.
Individuals present in affected areas are advised to keep abreast of the situation, to avoid areas directly hit by flooding, and to adhere to any orders issued by the local authorities or their home governments. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded. Be aware that the risk of contracting water- and mosquito-borne diseases tends to rise after periods of heavy rains; take measures to protect yourself from mosquito bites (use insect repellent, mosquito nets, etc.) and only consume purified water.
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