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Aftermath of Cyclone Favio Could Bring Swollen or Flooded Rivers


It may be several days before the full impact of Tropical Cyclone Favio Is known in Mozambique. As remnants of the storm continue to dump rain, humanitarian agencies are trying to assess what needs to be done. In the meantime, a second cyclone is reported north of Madagascar.

Kevin Ray is a forecaster with South Africa’s National Weather Service. From Pretoria, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about the latest radar reports on Favio.

“Luckily, the radar at Beira are still working. Fairly fresh southeasterly winds are blowing over that area around about 20 knots, which is about 40 kilometers an hour. And then also what I think is good news is that the meteorological reports have started coming back in for the Mozambican coastline. What is interesting is that we haven’t had any documented heavy falls that have come in from meteorological stations. But that’s not to say there wasn’t heavy rain. There does seem to be the indication from Beira’s radar that the central area immediately inland from Vilanculos and Beira could still be inundated by fairly heavy showers or thundershowers,” he says.

And while the storm has lot its punch, it could still trigger problems. Ray says, “We do feel that given the topography of the eastern parts of Zimbabwe, where we have some fairly high mountains that are likely to intercept this very moist, unstable, southeasterly inflow off Mozambique, we feel there’s a good chance, particularly in those eastern mountains of Zimbabwe, that we could have some heavy rain reports coming in.”

And those mountains could then send the rainwater back towards Mozambique. “There are quite a number of rivers in that area, including the Save River, which drain out eastwards towards Mozambique, something that we would be looking for and it’s a phenomenon we saw in the floods of 2000 and 200. That any runoff from the catchment area in Zimbabwe… there could be a likelihood that rivers flowing back into Mozambique in those central provinces could be flowing fairly strongly. Perhaps later on that the Zambezi (River) could follow suit,” Ray says.

Meanwhile, a second storm, Tropical Cyclone Gamede, is located well to the northeast of Mauritius and Reunion. Ray says that it’s projected that Gamede will be immediately to the north of the islands around mid-day Sunday and then closer to Madagascar late on Monday. It’s too early to predict whether the storm will head for Mozambique.