Another tropical cyclone develops

This time it’s Somalia which is in the firing line.

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    A tropical cyclone is expected to bring widespread flooding to the coast of Somalia [Al Jazeera]
    A tropical cyclone is expected to bring widespread flooding to the coast of Somalia [Al Jazeera]

    The day after the Philippines sustained catastrophic damage from Super Typhoon Haiyan, another storm has developed, this one is in the Indian Ocean.

    The new system is nowhere near as powerful as Haiyan, but it is still likely to cause a fair amount of damage when it makes landfall.

    Known as Tropical Cyclone 03A, the storm is heading towards central Somalia. It’s expected to make landfall near the town of Eyl, which has a population of 23,000.

    The sustained winds are currently around 75 kph, with gusts of 90 kph, and there could be a little more strengthening before the storm hits the coast.

    The main problem, however, will be the amount of rain. The majority of the northern half of Somalia will see torrential rain, with some regions near Eyl potentially seeing as much as 350mm of rain.

    This is a significant amount of rain, which most parts of the world would struggle to cope with, but in Somalia the effects are likely to be worse than elsewhere.

    Somalia is a very dry country. Much of the country is desert or desert scrub, with an annual rainfall of less than 250mm.
    This means that the ground is baked hard by the sun and cannot readily absorb moisture. The rain will simply sit on the surface of the ground and cause widespread flooding.

    It is also likely that in Somalia, which is such an impoverished country, the warning systems will not be as effective as elsewhere. There are concerns that some people could be unaware of the approaching storm.

    Flash flooding is inevitable from this cyclone, and without an adequate warning system, the impact could be severe.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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