Indian Ocean storms weaken

Two major storms that have threatened island nations in the region are now beginning to dissipate.

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    Indian Ocean storms weaken
    Bansi one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the southern Indian Ocean [AFP PHOTO/Handout/NASA]

    Two tropical cyclones that have been producing severe weather conditions in the southern Indian Ocean are now beginning to dissipate.

    Tropical Cyclone Chedza formed in the Mozambique Channel before moving southeastwards across the island of Madagascar.

    Chedza brought heavy rain to the island and was accompanied by winds of more than 90kph. It has since moved into the Indian Ocean, moving southeastwards, away from the islands of Mauritius and La Reunion.

    On the other side of the Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Bansi is also weakening as it runs south of the Cocos Islands. Bansi’s winds twice peaked as the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 240kph. This makes Bansi one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the southern Indian Ocean.

    Its first peak occurred on 13 January as it ran close to the French administered island of La Reunion. Much of the island received 150 to 250mm of rain, but isolated totals reached a staggering 550mm, according to the island’s Tropical Cyclone Centre.

    The island is no stranger to extreme rainfall events. Tropical Cyclone Denise which struck on 7-8 January 1966 dropped an incredible 1,825mm.

    The island holds many other rainfall records including a 10 day rainfall total of 5,678mm between 18 and 27 January 1980 as Cyclone Hyacinthe made a slow pass.

    Southern Indian Ocean cyclones rarely make the headlines. Most of the violent weather they produce falls over open water. But when these storms make landfall they can be as extreme as any Atlantic hurricane or Pacific typhoon.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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