As Mozambique hosts a donor conference to support cyclone relief efforts – it begins Friday in Beira – the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warns that the destruction caused by storms Idai and Kenneth is a wake-up call to deal with impacts linked to climate change.
Tropical cyclones, coastal flooding and intense rainfall all are increasing, and Mozambique needs to build its resilience, said WMO chief Petteri Taalas in a message to the conference. With 2,700 kilometers of ocean coastline and situated downstream from major rivers, the impoverished nation is prone to flooding and needs to prepare for more of it because of storms and rising seas.
“Although the number of tropical cyclones globally is expected to reduce in the future, the number of most intense tropical cyclones (category 4 and 5), associated with more rainfall, will increase in a warming climate,” he said.“ Future sea level rise will exacerbate the impact of storm surge on coastal regions, raising concerns about flooding from the sea, particularly for low lying cities as Beira.”
A WMO fact-finding mission sent to Mozambique has developed disaster risk priorities for the southeast African nation, and they will be presented at the conference on Saturday.
Idai made landfall near Beira on March 14 as a Category 4 storm, causing extreme damage with more than 600 fatalities and a subsequent humanitarian crisis. It was followed by Kenneth, which made landfall on April 25 in the northeastern province of Cabo Delgado.
Image: WFP file