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Weekly Updates: Africa | Asia | Latin America

14 January 2011

Africa Update #12

Last week, I mentioned that additional moisture was needed over northern Mozambique and Madagascar.  I would now like to be more specific, a little more rain is needed. Heavy rain soak most of southeastern Africa during the last seven days.  Excessive moisture in the Zambezi basin is continuing to raise the flow into the system of hydroelectric dams in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Several have already been opened and the rest will likely be opened up in the next few days. Rainfall continued over Botswana and the Maize Triangle, but at a more moderate rate. Isolated flooding incidents, some are severe, are occurring over most of southern Africa.

50 are dead in South Africa as a result of flooding, and more are likely dead from the heavy rains in other southern Africa countries. News gets out of South Africa faster because communication systems are better there than anywhere else in the region. Over the next few days information will likely slowly come out of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi and Madagascar. All of this is normal in a La Nina wet season across southern Africa. This should result in a bumper crop but at the cost of lives, infrastructure, livestock and damage to other industries, such as halting of mining activity.

The good news is that this weeks rainfall is in the area that had only moderate precipitation last week, so things are a bit more balanced, but overall the whole region could use a dry week. That is not about to happen as another round of heavy rainfall is expected in the region during the next week. Drought, as of now, looks like it will not be a problem anywhere in this part of the world.

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