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Zimbabwe Monitoring Depression Likely to Develop Into Tropical Chalane That May Hit Hard Eastern Areas

Some people who were hit by Cyclone Idai are still living in makeshift homes.
Some people who were hit by Cyclone Idai are still living in makeshift homes.

Zimbabwe’s Meteorological Services Department says it is monitoring a tropical depression off the coast of Madagascar, which may develop into Cyclone Chalane that is capable of devastating the country’s eastern villages and towns.

In its daily bulletins, the Meteorological Services noted that “the potential for the development of significant tropical cyclone is high, given favourable ambient environment.”

It also said, “Given the rate at which the tropical depression is developing, Zimbabwe is forecast to be safe through to New Year celebrations.”

Indications are that the eastern border areas may experience severe weather after January 1, 2021., a global forum run by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, says the tropical depression that has formed in the south-west part of the Indian Ocean will continue to strengthen as it moves westward towards Madagascar over the next few days.

Quoting Meteo Madagascar, the relief agency said predictions are that the tropical depression will develop into a tropical storm named Chalane by 24 December and “could further strengthen to become a tropical cyclone.

“As of the morning of 23 December, the tropical low was located about 1,200 kilometres from Antalaha District in northeast Madagascar, with an average wind speed of 55 km/h and guts of 75 km/h, according to Meteo Madagascar. The storm is expected to strike north-east Madagascar around 26 December, bringing high amounts of rainfall which may lead to flooding in affected areas and increase the threat of mudslides. The regions of Sava and Analanjirofo and the districts of Toamasina I-II have been placed on green alert/warning.”

The relief agency noted that the weather system “may eventually emerge over the Mozambique Channel early next week and could move towards central Mozambique, where Cyclone Idai hit nearly two years ago. According to Mozambique’s National Institute of Meteorology (INAM), projections indicate that this system could impact the Mozambican coast on 29 or 30 December, affecting Nampula, Zambezia and Sofala provinces.”

In Mozambique, the National Institute for Disaster Management is closely following the weather system’s trajectory and putting preparedness measures in place.

Zimbabwe’s Meteorological Services is also monitoring the weather system following the devastating impact of Cyclone Idai, which left over 300 people dead, 300 missing, 40,000 food insecure and more than 7,000 homeless.