The strongest tropical cyclone ever measured in the northern Indian Ocean has made landfall in eastern Africa, where it is poised to drop two years’ worth of rain in the next two days.
Tropical Cyclone Gati made landfall in Somalia on Sunday with sustained winds of around 105 mph.
It’s the first recorded instance of a hurricane-strength system hitting the country. At one point before landfall, Gati’s winds were measured at 115 mph.
“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,” said Sam Lillo, a researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Physical Sciences Laboratory.
According to FAO, a tropical Storm named GATI has developed in the northern Indian Ocean and is moving westwards towards the coastal areas of Puntland and Somaliland at a speed of 45 KPH.
The severity of the storm is expected to increase as it passes over Somalia between 1800 to 2100 hours today with an estimated speed of 100-110 KPH.
The storm poses an immediate threat to the shipping lane that links Somalia and Gulf states.
The influence of the storm have started being felt in the coastal areas of Bari, where moderate rains and strong winds have been observed starting early hours of Sunday.
More rains are expected during the week along the coastal parts of Bari, Sanaag, Woqooyi Galbeed and Awdal regions.
Other impacts expected include destruction of property and infrastructure including roads, buildings and boats due to the strong winds.
Flash floods may also disrupt normal activities along the tropical storm path. Communities living along this areas are advised to take necessary precautions.
In particular given this forecast, fishing activities along the coastal areas of the storm path should be discontinued immediately.