Mozambique to be hit by another tropical storm

PUBLISHED: Wed, 17 Feb 2021 16:52:17 GMT

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 17 (Reuters) – A tropical storm likely to intensify into a cyclone is approaching Mozambique, South Africa’s Weather Services (SAWS) said on Wednesday, battering an area hit by cyclone Eloise less than a month back.

Tropical storm Guambe is strengthening in the southern half of the Mozambique Channel with a high likelihood of torrential rain, strong winds and flooding along southern Mozambique’s coast and adjacent interior regions, especially from Beira through Vilanculos and southward to Inhambane, SAWS said in a statement.

This will be the third storm to hit Mozambique’s coast in as many months as climate change warms up sea water, making the low-lying areas in the country, whose ports are a gateway to land-locked African countries, particularly vulnerable.

In January, Cyclone Eloise slammed into Mozambique’s central port city of Beira and surrounding districts, which were hit by tropical storm Chalane in December. The area is still recovering from the devastation of Cyclone Idai in 2019.

Cyclone Eloise weakened to a tropical storm but caused heavy rain and flooding across southern Africa. Homes, crops and infrastructure in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, eSwatini and South Africa were destroyed, with tens of thousands of people displaced.

The weather service said at this stage it was unlikely that Guambe would hit South Africa. (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg Editing by Promit Mukherjee and Steve Orlofsky)

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