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Jobo becomes first tropical cyclone to make landfall in Tanzania after nearly seven decades

Tanzanian authorities warned people to avoid coastal areas as Tropical Cyclone Jobo made landfall on Saturday night.

The Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) said the storm weakened as it entered the mainland south of the coast region and Dar Es Salaam.

Earlier, the agency had estimated that Jobo would reach wind speeds of between 50 and 60 kilometres per hour when it reaches the East African nation’s coast.




Tropical Cyclone Jobo is still expected to bring rainfall and possible flooding in some parts of the coastline, TMA warned.

“Such weather phenomena tend to attract huge clouds from Congo forests therefore we also expect increased rainfall in the western parts of the country over the next few days,” said Agnes Kijazi, the director-general of the Tanzania Meteorological Agency.

On Friday, Tanzania asked fishermen to avoid going into the ocean off the coast of Dar es Salaam and its southern Mtwara region.



“For fishermen who do their activities especially in the southern coastline from Dar es Salaam to Mtwara, it is important that they take precautions by stopping and waiting until the cyclone passes,” Kijazi told reporters.

FIRST STORM IN SEVEN DECADES

Land falling cyclones are almost unheard of in Tanzania due to its close proximity to the equator, where the Coriolis force is weaker.

Records show only two other tropical cyclones have ever made it to the shores of Tanzania since the 19th century: the “Zanzibar Cyclone” of 1872 and Cyclone Lindi of 1952. The two storms struck the nation 80 years and one day apart on April 14 and 15 of their years, respectively.

Both storms brought significant devastation to the areas they impacted and took countless lives.

Given its tropical location, rainfall is plentiful in this part of the world and April is climatologically the wettest month of the year.