|Parts of Maputo were submerged by the relentless rains brought by Tropical Depression Dando. [EPA]
It was less than one week ago that Tropical Depression Dando brought flooding across parts of Mozambique, causing disruption to the capital, Maputo. Now, another storm system threatens even worse weather for the country.
Tropical Cyclone Funso has been meandering through the Mozambique Channel over the last few days. It has already dropped large amounts of rain across westerm Madagascar and coastal areas of Mozambique.
The storm has been generating sustained winds of 200 kph and these show no sign of abating over the next two to three days as Funso maintains its strength, using the energy gathered over the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
It is expected that waves will exceed six metres in height and these will pound the coast of Mozambique causing considerable erosion.
The high seas will also affect the major river of the region, the Limpopo with river water unlikely to find a direct outlet to the sea – hence the risk of the river bursting its banks.
Rainfall remains the main threat to not just Mozambique but southern Malawi, eastern Zimbabwe, and the Kruger Park region of South Africa. Computer models suggest that rainfall totals could touch 1000 mm in some places. To place that in context, Maputo’s average annual rainfall is just 770 mm.
Funso is expected to remain close to the coast of Mozambique for several days. It is moving very slowly at just 6 kph (which is the equivalent of a slow jog) and this is one reason why such incredibly high rainfall totals are being predicted.
Should Funso hit southern Mozambique, this will be the second storm in a week to hit the region after a gap of 27 years, when Tropical Storm Domoina made landfall back in 1984.
The cyclone season in the southwestern Indian Ocean began in mid November and it will run until the end of April.