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Madagascar/Mozambique: Flash Update No.1: Chalane Weather System (As of 23 December 2020)

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Situation Report
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HIGHLIGHTS

• A tropical depression has formed in the south-west part of the Indian Ocean.

• It is expected to develop into a tropical storm, named Chalane, and make landfall in Madagascar around 26 December.

• The storm could cause flooding, mudslides and damage due to high rainfall, gusty winds and rough seas.

• Early predictions indicate that the weather system could subsequently move towards central Mozambique, where Cyclone Idai hit nearly two years ago.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

A tropical depression has formed in the south-west part of the Indian Ocean and will continue to strengthen as it moves westward towards Madagascar over the next few days. The tropical depression is predicted to develop into a tropical storm named Chalane by 24 December and could further strengthen to become a tropical cyclone.

As of the morning of 23 December, the tropical low was located about 1,200 kilometres from Antalaha District in northeast Madagascar, with an average wind speed of 55 km/h and guts of 75 km/h, according to Meteo Madagascar. The storm is expected to strike north-east Madagascar around 26 December, bringing high amounts of rainfall which may lead to flooding in affected areas and increase the threat of mudslides. The regions of Sava and Analanjirofo and the districts of Toamasina I-II have been placed on green alert/warning.

The weather system may eventually emerge over the Mozambique Channel early next week and could move towards central Mozambique, where Cyclone Idai hit nearly two years ago. According to Mozambique’s National Institute of Meteorology (INAM), projections indicate that this system could impact the Mozambican coast on 29 or 30 December, affecting Nampula, Zambezia and Sofala provinces. INAM continues to monitor the situation and has appealed to the population to monitor meteorological information and warnings issued by the relevant national authorities.

HUMANITARIAN PREPAREDNESS

Authorities in Madagascar are coordinating preparedness activities for a possible response. The National Office for Risk and Disaster Management (BNGRC) is planning to pre-deploy a team when more concrete information is available on the possible areas to be affected. The Government has engaged with humanitarian partners on the situation and humanitarian partners are identifying emergency supplies available in districts along the north-eastern coast for a possible response. MAF International has offered to provide an aircraft free-of-charge to conduct a first aerial survey, if needed.

BNGRC and OCHA are identifying a multisectoral assessment team for potential deployment.

In Mozambique, in accordance with the 2020/2021 National Contingency Plan, the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) is closely following the weather system’s trajectory and putting preparedness measures in place.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.