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Cyclone Gombe kills several people in Mozambique after making landfall

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Cyclone Gombe has killed at least 11 people and injured 20 as it wreaks havoc in northern Mozambique in recent days.

Gombe destroyed houses and agricultural fields, locally known as machambas; on which some inhabitants depend as a source of subsistence and food.

A combination of high winds and extreme torrential rains affected thousands of people in Mozambique due to Gombe. Massive flooding from heavy rain also made some roads impassable and stranded people.

Cyclone Gombe

(Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images)

Gombe made landfall in Nampula and Zambezia provinces in northern Mozambique on Friday 11 March.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has estimated that 115,000 people have been affected by the cyclone in Mozambique, as quoted by Africa News.

Separately, flash floods caused by torrential rains had covered the town of Nampula until Sunday 13 March.

The storm brought maximum sustained winds of up to 190 kilometers per hour, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Relief Web humanitarian portal.

According to Relief Web, Gombe injured 20 people and affected a total of 18,345 people in Mozambique, a figure higher than the number of people affected by IOM.

In addition, the climatic hazards of Gombe have led to catastrophic repercussions and environmental damage.

The number of casualties and damage caused by Gombe is likely to increase as final official figures have not yet been released by local authorities.

Read also : Tropical storm Gombe expected to make landfall in Mozambique on Friday: weather warning

disaster recovery

Cyclone Gombe is one of many storms that have ravaged the southeastern region of Africa this year, along with countries including Mozambique, Madagascar and Malawi.

The arrival of the latest storm has hit people who are still trying to recover from previous natural disasters over the past three months.

OCHA said a total of more than 200,000 people were affected by previous storms in Mozambique’s Nampula, Tete and Zambezia provinces.

Indian Ocean

Also called Tropical Cyclone Gombe, the storm rapidly intensified after forming over the Indian Ocean and tracking into the Mozambique Channel last week.

Mozambique reportedly received extreme rainfall equivalent to several weeks to months of rain showers.

The formation of cyclones over the Indian Ocean is a common origin of storms that hit countries in southern and southeastern Africa.

The common route is the Mozambique Channel, with Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion initially impacted in the region before making landfall on the African continent.

Some cyclones formed in the Indian Ocean also affect other countries in East Africa and the Middle East.

India is also likely to be hit by storms from the Indian Ocean, which has also been considered a basin for cyclones.

Climate change

In 2019, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) highlighted the link between frequent cyclones and climate change.

WMO made its announcement following the large-scale humanitarian, economic and environmental crisis caused by Cyclones Idai and Kenneth.

Together with Cyclone Gombe, as well as the multitude of cyclones that have occurred this year in the southeastern region of Africa, the number of cyclones compared in recent years can probably be a sign that climate change has affected the storms.

The WMO said signs of a link to climate change are strong weather hazards, such as coastal flooding and more intense rainfall from high-impact tropical cyclones.

Related article: Tropical cyclone Batsirai leaves a trail of destruction in Madagascar and kills twenty

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