Filipo now a post-tropical depression after losing tropical characteristics

Filipo lost its tropical characteristics and moved into the post-tropical depression stage. Picture: Météo-France.

Filipo lost its tropical characteristics and moved into the post-tropical depression stage. Picture: Météo-France.

Published Mar 15, 2024


Durban — Tropical storm Filipo has lost its tropical characteristics as it continues to travel south-east.

This was according to Météo-France, a weather service, on Thursday.

“Filipo is moving quickly towards the south-east. It lost its tropical characteristics and moved into the post-tropical depression stage,” Météo-France said.

“However, it still generates very strong winds but only moves over the sea, moving away from the African coasts and Madagascar.

“Filipo could generate a cyclonic westerly swell which should reach the coasts of Amsterdam on Sunday with waves of 4m to 6m,” Météo-France said.

Earlier, Météo-France reported that Filipo did not pose a threat to inhabited lands.

Inhambane province, Mozambique. Picture: OCHA Mozambique

Meanwhile, IOL reported that families living in northern KwaZulu-Natal districts had to evacuate their homes after torrential downpours and gusty winds, brought on by Filipo, ripped through the area on Wednesday.

KZN Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) spokesperson Siboniso Mngadi said the heavy rains, accompanied by strong winds, began in the early hours in the extreme north of the province and have so far caused damage to low-lying bridges and roads, with car accidents recorded as a result.

He said several households in the Umhlabuyalingana area had been flooded, leading families to seek temporary shelter with relatives and neighbours.

He said their teams had not reported fatalities.

Several roads in areas such as Jozini, Mbazwana, Manguzi, and Umhlabuyalingana have been eroded and bridges were flooded.

The heavy rains and winds brought on by tropical storm Filipo has wreaked havoc on northern KwaZulu-Natal communities. Picture: Cogta/Supplied

Moreover, Cogta MEC Bongiwe Sithole-Moloi urged motorists to refrain from attempting to cross overflowing rivers and streams.

She said their teams were on the ground, monitoring the situation closely. They valued co-operation from the communities.

“The risk is not over yet. Let us all prioritise safety and avoid travelling during this period,” she said.

Sithole-Moloi said reports suggested that under the Umkhanyakude Local Municipality, a low-lying bridge had been flooded, a road in Othobothi had been eroded, and the Sekane River was overflowing, affecting access to Bethesda Hospital. There were also reports of trees falling on roads, but no serious damage had been reported.

“As heavy downpours continue, disaster teams remain on standby to monitor the situation. Our disaster teams are closely monitoring the situation, and some roads have had to be temporarily closed to ensure safety. Mudslides have also been reported, causing blockages on some roads.”

Inhambane province, Mozambique. Picture: OCHA Mozambique

Additionally, according to ReliefWeb, a humanitarian information service provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Management (INGD) estimated that more than 525 000 people were to be affected by the Filipo’s landfall, directly impacting communities of Inhambane, Sofala and Maputo from March 12.

As of March 13, available reports indicated 1 388 individuals (218 families) had taken shelter in four accommodation centres in Inhambane. One thousand and thirty-eight (148 families) were being accommodated in three schools while 350 individuals (70 families) were housed at a local church in Malaia locality.

Shelter and non-food items had been reported as the top priority needs at accommodation centres. Other reported priority needs included agriculture and food security, washing facilities, health services and access to markets. As rain and flood events developed, ongoing joint assessments with INGD and humanitarian partners monitored the needs and conditions of affected populations in the region.

— OCHA Southern & Eastern Africa (@UNOCHA_ROSEA) March 14, 2024

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