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Met warns of more cyclones

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The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (Met) has warned of several cyclones this rainy season which could affect Malawi.

The warning comes when a Global Information and Early Warning System report by Food and Agriculture Organisation (Fao) predicted a favourable outlook in crop production next year owing to favourable rains that have started in most parts of Malawi.

Cyclones are characterised by floods which have devastating effects on crop production, property and people’s lives.

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Recently, Met warned of Cyclone Belna which developed in Madagascar and could hit some parts of Malawi.

Met Director, Jolamu Nkhokwe, said the dying of the cyclone does not mean other cyclones would not develop.

“We still have three months to go; a period in which tropical cyclones develop. That is why we are encouraging people to follow weather updates jealously. The tropical cyclones develop in the Indian Ocean and this period we also call it tropical cyclone season. We had Cyclone Belna which died over Madagascar. But we should be anticipating more tropical cyclones. We are on the ground and once one develops in the ocean, we will alert the public on time and how it would impact Malawi,” he said.

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Tropical cyclones form only over warm ocean waters near the equator. To form a cyclone, warm, moist air over the ocean rises upward from near the surface.

As this air moves up and away from the ocean surface, heavy rainfall and stormy winds are created.

Malawi, alongside Mozambique and Zimbabwe, were hit by floods linked to Cyclone Idai, where crops were destroyed, 61 people died and over 600,000 were displaced in March 2019.

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