The climotologists have proved their point about the possibility of an east coast cyclone appearing this season and causing catastrophy on the east African seaboard.
I kept this forum up-to-date about the development of a Cat 4 cyclone, Desmond, which appeared on 20/01/2019 and was a potential threat to Zululand and the 140th celebrations at Isandlwana. However, there was no serious adverse weather there as Desmond moved away and migrated down into the Indian Ocean and quietly gave birth to a storm cell which was later to become cyclone IDAI .
True to form, IDAI came into the Mocambique Channel from the north and gradually grew from a tropical depression to a CAT 4 Cyclone (central pressure of 990mb) and parked off the Zambezi River Delta near the Mocambican port of Beira. There it sat for a few days wreaking it's havoc and the result is ;
1) more than 1000mm of rain fell in the region over two days, and, it is still raining.
2) the adjacent river flood plains are inundated with metres of rising flood water creating a vast inland sea
3) homes, bridges and roads, crops, livestock and infrastructure were blown away by 120km/hr winds or destroyed by flood waters.
4) more that 1000 lives already lost in Mocambique alone , .....and still counting.
5) Cabora Bassa hydro- electric HT power line to South Africa destroyed plunging the latter, country wide, into partial rolling blackouts.
6) food and water supplies across the region decimated.
7) all communications severed across the region , whether be it land or air travel as well as radio/ electronic media
8) peripheral weather has affected adjacent Malawi , Zambia and Zimbabwe where untold lives also lost and damage done.
9) many humanitarian agencies from SA are deployed in the region presently to help with rescue and recovery, however, there are not enough helicopters, or other assets available to do this job timeously before many more succumb to exposure and the vagaries of the elements .
So,.... we escaped that one. I think the 'people of heaven', ie the phZulu, must have 'pulled strings' with inKulankulu
to spare them such that the 140th Isandlwana celebrations could go ahead unhindered. If so, they got that one right.
It is getting late in the cyclone season now and temperatures are generally waning, so hopefully IDAI will be the last for the year.