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2/23/2007

Flooding fears rise as cyclone strikes Mozambique

Tropical Storm News: Mozambique
Photo: Flood waters cover the land near Caia, Mozambique. Forecasters have warned that a second cyclone is on the way. (Michael Huggins/Associated Press)
Feb 22, 2007
Cyclone Favio lashed central Mozambique on Thursday with heavy rains and sustained winds of 200 kilometres an hour, raising fears of further flooding after tens of thousands of people were already forced from their homes. Forecasters say the storm, which has brought gusts of up to 230 km/h, weakened slightly as it made landfall, but was still expected to wreak havoc in the region over the next 12 hours. A second storm, Cyclone Gamede, is churning in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar and threatens to make landfall in the same area of central Mozambique before dawn today
TROPICAL STORMS
ZIMBABWE - Heavy rains and strong winds are expected in Manicaland and the low lying areas later today as Tropical Cyclone Favio now hitting Mozambique moves closer to Zimbabwe. There are fears that strong winds rated at 50km/hr could damage buildings, devastate vegetation and cause flooding in low lying areas. "We are expecting most of our dams' levels to increase in Save, Mazowe, Manyame and Sanyati catchments. For those dams that are nearly full we expect them to spill, especially in the eastern, northern and central parts of the country." High flows were also expected in most major rivers and their tributaries. A fierce storm recently swept across the Domboshawa area and destroyed more than 20 houses, uprooted trees and injured five people.
SOUTH AFRICA - The tropical cyclone which is causing major floods in Mozambique is also behind the sweltering heat wave in South Africa. The rotating cyclone is sucking in moist air, leaving SA with a high-pressure system, and therefore hot and dry conditions. Many parts of SA had been “moderately to severely dry” in January. The drought has also affected dam levels which have been dropping since December and notably in the last week or so.
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