from ARMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – AREAS devastated by the Cyclone Idai in early 2019 are projected to bear the brunt again as the Tropical Storm Chalane approaches Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Isolated flooding accompanying the storm have caused damage in Madagascar after Chalane made landfall in Fenoarivo Atsinanana on Sunday, days after forming in the Indian Ocean.
With maximum wind gusts of between 40 and 50 km/h, Chalane destroyed mostly electricity poles.
Wind speeds have halved after it crossed Madagascar but Chalane is expected to accelerate as it moves over the Mozambique Channel, where it is expected make landfall.
The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System, indicates that it could become a cyclone with a speed of 120 km/h, while others indicate it is likely to remain a tropical storm.
Chalane is forecast to make landfall in the province of Sofala (Mozambique), which was struck by Cyclone Idai nearly two years ago.
It could also bring heavy rains to Inhambane, Manica and Zambezia.
President Filipe Nyusi has warned the tropical storm could affect 4 million Mozambicans (estimated total population is 32,55 million) in the central provinces.
He said more than 6 000 schools were in danger the impact of winds and floods posed.
The president has urged people living in areas at risk to evacuate.
“We call on people living in risk areas, such as river basins likely to cause floods, to monitor information about the evolution of this cyclone and to move to safe areas, under the guidance of the authorities, to minimise the negative impact of this cyclone,” Nyusi said.
Idai killed at least 602 people in Mozambique.
After making landfall in Mozambique, the storm Chalane is forecast to proceed towards neighbouring Zimbabwe and subsequently Botswana, both to the west.
Chimanimani and Chipinge, the Zimbabwean districts hardest-hit by Cyclone Idai, remain most at-risk.
That is according to predictions by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Idai left at least 634 people dead in Zimbabwe, a country with an estimated 14,86 million population.
Malawi is no longer projected to be directly impacted by Chalane, due to the change in the storm’s predicted trajectory.
Overall, Idai killed no less than 1 303 people and affected more than 3 million others.
– CAJ News