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Malawi braces for Cyclone Chalane

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NKHOKWE—Expect heavy rainfall

The Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma) has said the country is prepared to respond to tropical Cyclone Chalane, expected to hit the country tomorrow and likely to cause flooding in some parts of the country.

Dodma Response and Recovery Director Reverend Moses Chimphepo said they had been engaging stakeholders on the issue.

This follows Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services’ warning that the landfall of the storm was likely to hit Mozambique tomorrow and proceed to parts of Southern Malawi, where it is likely to wreak havoc.

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Reacting to the development, Chimphepo said: “We have activated all clusters. Actually, we had a meeting with all coordinating clusters; they are all in a state of preparedness.

“We will also preposition people, especially those in flood-prone areas such as Nsanje District,” he said.

He added that Dodma had standby arrangements to institute rescue operations in flood-prone areas.

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Meanwhile, Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services Director Jolamu Nkhokwe, has said the cyclone is characterised by strong winds and heavy rainfall.

“Tropical Cyclone Chalane is expected to land on the Mozambican soil, between the town of Quelimane and the city of Beira, on Wednesday. At this position, it is expected to strengthen Intertropical Convergence Zone and Congo air mass, which will consequently enhance rainfall occurrence over the country,

“From the Mozambique coastal line, tropical Cyclone Chalane is expected to take a westward track into the interior of Mozambique and then into Zambabwe. The cyclone is expected to produce heavy rainfall in Malawi that will likely cause flooding in the south, central and lakeshore areas, coupled with strong winds,” he said.

Tropical Cyclone Chalane hit the east coast of Madagascar on December 27 2020 and is forecast to follow a course that will take it across the Mozambique Channel in the direction of Beira.

The storm has so far caused massive flooding in Madagascar, killing 26 people.

Daily updates from Relief web indicate that the Mozambican authorities are bracing for the cyclone by, among other things, taking precautionary measures and urging people to evacuate flood-prone areas.

The phenomenon is said to be travelling at almost half the speed of Cyclone Idai, whose devastating effects are still being felt in Malawi.

In early March 2019, Cyclone Idai brought torrential rains and wind to parts of southern and central Malawi—a disaster that directly affected 975,000 people in the country and displaced 125,382 others.

Sixty people were killed and 672 others injured.

A tropical cyclone is an intense tropical storm that forms over warm tropical oceans near the equator and is characterised by low atmospheric pressure, strong winds, and heavy rainfall, among other characteristics.

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