19 killed, Beira city shut off as tropical cyclone slams Mozambique

Clay Curtis
March 17, 2019

"The Tropical Cyclone IDAI made landfall over Beira in Mozambique a distance of about 480 kilometers to Nsanje on the night of Thursday 14th March 2019 bringing with it high wind speeds of up to 224 kilometre per hour and rain over Mozambique".

At least 31 people have been killed and dozens are missing as tropical cyclone Idai hit eastern parts of Zimbabwe after lashing neighbouring Mozambique, the government said on Saturday.

Joshua Sacco, a member of Parliament in the eastern district of Chimanimani, told Reuters that the storm had left a trail of destruction reminiscent of Cyclone Eline in February 2000, which devastated southern Zimbabwe.

"At least 25 houses were swept away following a mudslide at Ngangu township in Chimanimani urban".

Even before the cyclone made landfall on Friday, heavy rains earlier in the week had already claimed 66 lives and forced 17,000 people from their homes in Mozambique, local officials said. Mr Ndanga said they quickly moved in to fix the roof at the section 1 cell.

Chimanimani, which borders Mozambique, has been worst affected, with the storm causing floods as well as destroying crops, Zimbabwe's Ministry of Information said.

Earlier a lawmaker told AFP that thousands of people have been affected, power cut off and major bridges flooded.

Destruction in Mozambique

Jacob Mafume, a spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said a "serious humanitarian crisis [was] unfolding" in the east of the country.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is now on a visit to Abu Dhabi, has declared a state of disaster in the affected areas.

Cyclone Idai has affected more than 1.5 million people in the three southern African countries, according to the United Nations and government officials.

The cyclone hit Mozambique with winds of up to 177km/h (106 mph). "Houses and trees were destroyed and pylons downed", an official at the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) told AFP.

When the cyclone hit Mozambique, authorities there were forced to close the worldwide airport in the port city of Beira after the air traffic control tower, the navigation systems and the runways were damaged by the storm.

Power utility Eskom on Saturday bumped up rotational load shedding from Stage 2 to Stage 4 due to a shortage of capacity exacerbated by the loss of 900 MW from Mozambique Fin24 reported.

"The runway is full of obstacles and parked aircraft are damaged".

Southwest Iowa Towns Evacuate, Roads Close as Missouri River Rises
Joseph reached almost 26 feet on Saturday, about a foot below what's considered major flooding at the northwest Missouri city. The storm also spawned at least three tornadoes in MI and in on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

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