16 February 2017

Mozambique: Tropical Storm Dineo Hits Mozambique

Tropical Storm Dineo made landfall in Inhambane Province, Mozambique, on the evening of February 15, causing flooding and strong winds.

It reached the strength of a Category 1 hurricane on the international Saffir-Simpson scale, with winds registered at 130km/h., while in the Mozambique Channel, the cyclone generated waves 6 metres high.

The coast of Inhambame is popular with tourists from around the world. It has shallow sandy beaches and Mozambique has a balmy climate. The coast is often hit in cyclone season.

In addition to the strength of wind, the common risk along cyclone-hit coasts is the storm surge.

In the centre of a major cyclone, the water is lifted and comes ashore as inundation. In the case of Dineo, this addition to the tidal rise was about half a metre, which made the high tide of 3.4m rather deeper, but not extreme.

The wind brought down several trees and damaged many of the lightly constructed buildings in Inhambane.

The eye made landfall between the towns of Inhambane and Vilanculos. The latter reported a catch of 110mm of rain but the cyclone has the potential to deliver more than 300mm.

Now overland and a rainstorm, it presents a significant flash-flood risk to the upper Limpopo River and both the Limpopo and Kruger National Parks.

Southern Zimbabwe and eastern Botswana may well benefit from remnant thundery rain during Friday.

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