Southern Africa, Flash Update No.6: Tropical Storm Chalane (as of 31 December 2020)

HIGHLIGHTS

 

  • After making landfall in Muanza district, central Mozambique, in the early hours of 30 December, Tropical Storm Chalane tracked inland and entered Zimbabwe as a tropical depression.
  • The depression has brought rains and thunderstorms to Zimbabwe and is now considered a “very weak” tropical depression by the Zimbabwean authorities.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Tropical Storm Chalane, which made landfall in the district of Muanza, in Mozambique’s Sofala Province, in the early hours of 30 December, reportedly left at least two people dead and several injured in Sofala and Manica provinces, according to preliminary reports by the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC). In Sofala Province, at least 10,930 people (2,186 families) have been affected by Chalane. About 1,156 houses were destroyed and 1,439 damaged, about 272 tents in Buzi and Nhamatanda in resettlement sites where people displaced by Cyclone Idai were staying were destroyed, and 82 schools were destroyed and 87 damaged, affecting 22,910 pupils, according to INGC. In Manica Province, 345 people (69 families) were affected, and 68 houses and makeshifts shelters and 13 classrooms were destroyed, while 11 health units were damaged. In the Zambezi, Púngué and Búzi River Basins, all stations registered levels below their alerts, with the exception of the Mafambisse station in the Pungwe Basin.

The Chalane weather system reached Zimbabwe in the evening of 30 December as a tropical depression, with heavy rains and bursts of strong winds in Chimanimani East in Manicaland Province, with some roofs of houses blown off, as well electricity and cellular network disruptions. Initial reports indicate that the eye of the storm passed over Cashel Valley to the north of Chimanimani. Minor damage has been reported to a few institutions, including Chimanimani Hospital, Ndima School and a local church. More than 600 people arrived in evacuation centres in Chimanimani District, many of whom have reportedly already begun to return home, while more than 100 refugee families in the Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge District temporarily moved to higher ground. Some 153 people who were living in temporary shelters following their displacement by Cyclone Idai were pre-emptively evacuated ahead of Chalane’s arrival: 97 are housed at Mutambara High School (48 females / 49 males; 50 children) while 56 are housed at St. Patrick’s (29 females / 27 males; 24 children). Seventeen people with disabilities were identified among the internally displaced in Mutambara and St. Patrick’s and measures are being taken to provide them appropriate safety and support.

After crossing Zimbabwe, the Chalane weather system could move towards Botswana and Namibia as a low pressure area, according to some predictions, including Meteo France. In Botswana, the meteorological services have warned that Chalane could cause heavy flooding in the eastern, north-east and central districts from 31 December 2020 to 2 January 2021, according to media reports. As the storm continues moving to the west of the country into neighbouring Namibia it is expected to bring heavy rainfall over Chobe, Ngamiland, Gantsi and Kgalagadi districts.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA’s activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.

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