Tropical Storm "Desmond" formed January 20, 2019 in the Mozambique Channel, bringing heavy rain to parts of Madagascar as it headed toward Mozambique. It made landfall in the province of Zambezia, near the border with the Sofala province. While there were no casualties in Mozambique, at least 9 people were killed in Madagascar.
The landfall took place just after 18:00 UTC, January 21, about 40 km (24.8 miles) S of Chinde and 200 km (124 miles) N of Beira, Mozambique with maximum sustained winds up to 65 km/h (40 mph).
While the winds were not that strong, Desmond brought extremely heavy rain and very rough seas.
Beira received some 277 mm (10.9 inches) of rain in 24 hours to 06:00 UTC, January 22, which is more than the city usually receives during the entire month of January (250 mm / 9.84 inches).
According to Al Jazeera, cars were submerged up to their windows and floodwaters rushed into homes and businesses.
There are no reports of casualties as of 08:00 UTC, January 22.
More flooding is expected in central Mozambique and southern Malawi over the next 24 hours. Some places could still see as much as 200 mm (7.87 inches) in 24 hours.
Image credit: ERCC
Although Desmond didn't hit Madagascar directly, it dropped heavy rains in the northwest of the island, causing floods and leaving at least 9 people dead in capital Antananarivo on January 19.
Official reports mention at least 5 washed away homes.
More rain is expected in Madagascar's heavily soaked regions in the days ahead as another system forms in the Mozambique Channel. There is an increased threat of floods and landslides, especially in the country's northwest.
Featured image credit: ERCC
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