Cyclone Idai To Hit Zimbabwe This Weekend - MSD

Clay Curtis
March 15, 2019

The initial system killed at least 66 people due to flooding in Mozambique, Agence France-Presse reported.

Now Malawi has been put on alert for more rain and flooding on Thursday when Tropical Cyclone Idai is expected to make landfall through Beira, in neighbouring Mozambique, the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services said.

She spoke to reporters late Tuesday after a cabinet meeting in Maputo to discuss the emergency.

The floods in Mozambique, one of Africa's poorest countries, have already destroyed 5 756 homes, affecting 15 467 households and 141 325 people.

The cyclone will dump heavy rains and winds over Mozambique, before moving to southern Malawi and later Zimbabwe, the department's director, Jolam Nkhokwe, said.

Flooding from the storm's first round inundated almost 650 square miles, destroyed 18 hospitals, 938 classrooms and injured 122 people. More than 168 000 hectares of crops were destroyed, the government spokeswoman added. The Civil Protection Unit evacuated more than 700 people who were marooned by floods in the district.

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"Sixteen accommodation centres have been opened in the provinces of Zambezia and Tete to accommodate the displaced", Comoana said.

"This storm has already triggered torrential rainfall that's led to over 100 fatalities in southern Malawi and Mozambique", according to Derek van Dam, reporting for CNN.

"The government needs 1.1 billion meticais ($16 million) to assist 80,000 families affected by the rains".

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned that the incoming storm could bring winds of up to 190 kilometres per hour.

Residents in central Mozambique were on Thursday bracing for a tropical cyclone described as "extremely dangerous" by weather experts, with imminent landfall expected near the port city of Beira, which has a population of about 530,000 people.

"It's an intense tropical cyclone; it will have winds of 105 knots (200km/h) when it makes landfall", said Vermeulen.

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