The tropical depression that formed in the Indian Ocean has intensified into Tropical Storm Chalane.
Chalane is projected to make landfall on the north-east coast of Madagascar on 27 December 2020, bringing heavy rains.
Predictions indicate that the storm could subsequently move towards Mozambique and other countries in the region.
Authorities in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe are on alert and coordinating preparedness activities.
The tropical depression that formed earlier this week in the Indian Ocean intensified on 24 December into Moderate Tropical Storm Chalane. The tropical storm was located about 860 kilometres east of Antalaha District in Madagascar in the afternoon of 24 December and was moving at 17 km/h with an average wind speed of 75 km/h and gusts capping 100 km/h. According to Meteo Madagascar, Tropical Storm Chalane is predicted to continue to move westwards and to strike the north and centre-east coast of Madagascar on 27 December. Heavy rains are expected in the coastal areas starting on 26 December, which could lead to floods, mudslides and damage.
The weather system may eventually emerge over the Mozambique Channel around 29 December and move towards central Mozambique, where Cyclone Idai hit nearly two years ago. According to Mozambique’s National Institute of Meteorology (INAM), projections indicate that the storm could impact the Mozambican coast on 29 or 30 December, affecting Nampula, Zambezia and Sofala provinces. After making landfall in Mozambique, the storm could proceed towards Zimbabwe, following a trajectory similar to Cyclone Idai, with Chimanimani District most at-risk according to current predictions. The Meteorological Services Department is on alert and monitoring the situation.
In Malawi, the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological services released a statement saying that the storm is expected to bring strong winds and high amounts of rainfall which could cause flooding in the country.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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