Residents warned as tropical cyclone Idai intensifies over Mozambique

Residents warned as tropical cyclone Idai intensifies over Mozambique

Flooding in Malawi and Mozambique had affected almost 843,000 people and caused at least 60 deaths as of 11 March, according to preliminary reports from the respective Governments.

The MSD said Tropical Cyclone Idai is expected to take a north-westerly direction moving further inland and reaching some parts of the country.

The cyclone is centred near the city of Chimoio in Manica Province but it is not having a significant impact on South African weather.

Mozambique is prone to extreme weather events and as the storm approached, the coastal city of Beira was hit by winds of more than 170 kph, the National Meteorological Institute said, with Radio Mocambique reporting several homes had been destroyed and roads cut off.

News24 reported that an additional 45 people had died in Malawi as a result of flooding on Wednesday. The storm is expected to make landfall late Thursday night local time just south of Beira. The deluge will also be in the eastern parts of Zimbabwe. With the current population of Beira believed to be 250,000 and gusts of winds estimated to be over 250km/hour, Cyclone Idai is expected to be the largest the area has seen in a decade.

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Delaware-based energy giant Anadarko and South African petrochemical group Sasol have significant investments in major liquefied natural gas projects off northern Mozambique, but these are now out of harm's way.

Cyclones are typical for Mozambique at this time of year, but there are concerns that the weather patterns have been increasing in intensity.

Weather service Windy.com showed that the storm was off the east coast of Mozambique, with winds already in excess of 100km/h.

Mozambique ranks third among countries in Africa most susceptible to weather-related hazards, according to the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.

"A team of 15 rescuers, including rescue technicians, advanced life support paramedics, and lifeguards, are on their way with six 4×4 vehicles, boats, and jet skis to assist the community".

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