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Cyclone Slams Mozambique (February 23, 2007)
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view of Cyclone Favio on its approach to the African mainland. NASA.
Fierce Category 4 Cyclone Favio slammed already waterlogged Mozambique
with peak winds of up to 144 mph (230 km/h). The powerful storm
destroyed houses, knocked down trees and power poles, and triggered
a new round of floods. At least three people died in the town of
Vilankulo, which was 80 percent destroyed.
The cyclone is the most violent to strike the country since Cyclone
Eline in 2000. The storm made the situation even worse in the Zambezi
River valley, where recent floods killed about 40 people and left
120,000 others homeless. Favio also dumped heavy rain over the Zambezi's
already-swollen tributaries in Zambia, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.
Earlier in the week, Favio brushed past the southern tip of Madagascar.
The storm's eye missed the island, but the storm still brought heavy
rain, huge waves, and floods to the southern coast. The cyclone
gained strength swirling over the warm waters of the Mozambique
Channel separating Madagascar and the African mainland.
The months of December through April are the peak of cyclone season
in the southern Indian Ocean. As more humid air rises from the ocean,
winds rotate faster and faster around a low pressure area at a cyclone's
center. The storms are carried westward towards the African coast
by prevailing winds.
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