Somalia is facing a fresh desert locust invasion, the latest in a string of invasions in the last year.
Hundreds of thousands of locusts are currently invading the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, devouring everything on their path.
The locusts are devastating the region since mid November and officials fear the biblical swarms will turn the entire area into arid land.
According to FAO, strong northerly winds have carried small mature (yellow) swarmlets south from southern Somalia to northeast and eastern Kenya as well as northeast Tanzania.
From the second week of December onwards, several waves of numerous swarms can be expected to move south in Somalia and Ethiopia, reaching northern Kenya.
This comes as United Nations agencies warn that the east African nation is one of 16 states that are “at high risk of rising levels of acute hunger.”
Record-breaking cyclone Gati
Meanhwile, Tropical Cyclone Gati made landfall in Somalia on Sunday with sustained winds of around 105 mph (gusts up to 115mph).
It is the strongest cyclone ever measured in the northern Indian Ocean and the first recorded instance of a hurricane-strength system hitting the country.
#Cyclone #GATI about to landfall in #Somalia right now. A very powerful cyclone…— Scott Duncan (@ScottDuncanWX) November 22, 2020
The true intensity of this storm is unknown with official sources quoting vastly different strength.
The structure of this storm suggests equivalent cat 2 or cat 3 hurricane. pic.twitter.com/dU3VhecNL0
It is forecast to drop two years’ worth of rain in the next two days.
Gati is the strongest tropical cyclone that has been recorded in this region of the globe; further south than any category 3-equivalent cyclone in the North Indian Ocean.— Sam Lillo (@splillo) November 22, 2020
And its intensification from 35kt to 100kt in 12 hours is the largest on record in the entire basin. pic.twitter.com/wwALiQeBFe
Its rapid intensification from about 40 mph to 115 mph was “the largest 12-hour increase on record for a tropical cyclone in the Indian Ocean,” Lillo added.
Northern Somalia usually gets about 4 inches of rain per year. And now this:
Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show Gati could bring 8 inches over the next two days.
So that’s about two years worth of rainfall in just two days. And some isolated areas could see even more than that!
A United Nations alert warned the storm posed an immediate threat to the marine shipping lane that links Somalia and the Gulf states.
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