10 March 2011

Namibia flood updates. Pt. 5

update (22 March 2011): A flood in the Kuiseb River damaged some of the water supply infrastructure of Walvis Bay. The river is still flowing strongly, and Namwater repair teams are experiencing difficulties in repairing the damaged water supply infrastructure. Reservoir levels are dropping fast and the Municipality has no choice but to re-instate the following emergency water control measures until further notice:
  • Water supply shutdown 10h00 - 18h00
  • Re-open water supply 18h00 - 21h00
  • Water supply shutdown 21h00 - 06h00
During the water closure periods the following public water supply points along 5th Road in town, in Frankie Abrahams Street in Kuisebmond and in Kruis Street in Narraville will be opened.

update (17 March 2011): According to the latest information from the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), water levels in the upper Zambezi River are again increasing, meaning that high water levels will be maintained downstream at Katima Mulilo for weeks to come.  The flows in the Cuvelai Oshanas in northern Namibia are further increasing in the Ohangwena and Oshana regions. The flood wave in the Okavango River is estimated to peak around 8.40 m at Rundu on 16 March 2011, which is around the same peak levels reached in 2009 and 2010. Flood readiness should be maintained. There have been no reports of flooding further downstream in northern Botswana

update (16 March 2011): The Spreetshoogte Pass (D1275) was damaged again over the weekend and is 4X4 only. C19 between Solitaire & Sesriem: The Tsondab River is  flowing intermittently. Please be careful and if in doubt take the detour.
The C13 between Rosh Pinah and Noordoewer is CLOSED and is likley to stay closed till end of April.
Part of the C12 between Seeheim & Holoog is still CLOSED and is likley to remain closed till end of April. (ALTERNATIVE: take the B4 from Keetmanshoop and turn into the D545. The road bypasses the closed area and re-joins the C12.)
The C39 between Khorixas & Twyfelfontein can be driven again, but is wet in areas. Please drive slowly.
Severe floods have reached dangerous levels and have affected vast areas of Epupa. Roads that go to Ruacana near the Swartbooi’s Drift, such as those to Okovahere Lodge (??) and villages such as Ondozu, Okombongo and Otjimbundu are currently cut off.
Concerns were expressed about the imminent outbreak of malaria and cholera.  

update (14 March 2011): The road from the 2x4 parking area to Sossusvlei has dried out and the vlei can be reached by 4X4 as usual
High resolution false-color satellite images of the flooding in Namibia & Angola acquired a year apart (March 2010 & March 2011). In 2011, wide areas of standing water occur in places that had been largely dry a year earlier. Deeper water—indicated by darker shades of blue—fills the multiple channels along the Angola-Namibia border in 2011, and the Cunene (or Kunene) River also appears flooded.

To all travellers out there still planning to visit Namibia's north, pls read "The hidden side of a flooded Caprivi", published on newera.com.na on 10 March 2011.

update (10 March 2011): Over the past two weeks, heavy rains over northern Namibia resulted in flooding, especially in the regions of Omusati, Ohangwena and Oshikoto, as well as in Oshana.  According to the Namibia Hydrological Services, flood conditions will not improve in the coming days, as water levels upstream are still rising. 
Water levels in the Okavango River are rising at Rundu in northern Namibia, and there are indications that a flood wave of above 8 m could be expected. Flood readiness should be maintained. There have been no reports of flooding further downstream in northern Botswana. Water levels of the upper Zambezi River is decreasing, having fallen from 6.39 m on 01 March 2011 to 6.31m on 08 March 2011. There are no indications that another flood wave is developing further upstream.

The Okavango River Basin

The road to the Hakusembe River Lodge, near Rundu, has been swamped. Guests should drive on the B10 approximately 4 km past the signpost to Mupini Health Centre. Turn right at the signpost. Guests should drive along the road until they arrive at a parking lot where there will be vehicles and boats. From here, they will be transported by boat to Hakusembe River Lodge.

Big kudos to Namibian tourism info source tourbrief (and other online resources) for keeping us updated regarding the current rain/flood situation in Namibia! Thx!

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