Updated: 1/24/2019 3:25:24 AM
Mozambique’s disaster relief agency, the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) has announced that at least 120,000 people have left their flooded homes as a result of heavy rains in the central port city of Beira, caused by tropical storm Desmond.INGC spokesperson Paulo Tomas said precipitation reached 277 millimeters late Tuesday. “These are intense rains that came with tropical storm Desmond, which is affecting the provinces of Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambézia. So far, 120,000 people are homeless”, Tomas told APA over the phone from Beira on Wednesday. The official said his department has opened three accommodation centers to house victims seeking refuge from various districts of the city of Beira. Experts said the storm should weaken as it moves over land, but that it could still bring heavy rainfall.
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Tropical Storm "Desmond" formed January 20, 2019 in the Mozambique Channel, bringing heavy rain to parts of Madagascar as it headed toward Mozambique. It made landfall in the province of Zambezia, near the border with the Sofala province. While there were no casualties in Mozambique, at least 9 people were killed in Madagascar.
The landfall took place just after 18:00 UTC, January 21, about 40 km S of Chinde with maximum sustained winds up to 65 km/h. While the winds were not that strong, Desmond brought extremely heavy rain and very rough seas.
Beira received some 277 mm of rain in 24 hours to 06:00 UTC, January 22, which is more than the city usually receives during the entire month of January.
According to Al Jazeera, cars were submerged up to their windows and floodwaters rushed into homes and businesses.
More flooding is expected in central Mozambique and southern Malawi over the next 24 hours. Some places could still see as much as 200 mm in 24 hours.
Although Desmond didn't hit Madagascar directly, it dropped heavy rains in the northwest of the island, causing floods and leaving at least 9 people dead in capital Antananarivo on January 19. Official reports mention at least 5 homes are washed away.
More rain is expected in Madagascar's heavily soaked regions in the days ahead as another system forms in the Mozambique Channel. There is an increased threat of floods and landslides, especially in the country's northwest.
Storm Desmond Facts
Affected Area: 1 km.
Alert Level: Green