Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Cyclone Idai makes landfall, lashes Mozambique coastal city

Cyclone Idai makes landfall, lashes Mozambique coastal city

At least 115 people were killed in Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa after heavy rains affected 843 000 people across southeast Africa, officials and the United Nations said, prompting calls for emergency aid.

Tropical Cyclone Idai, which formed over the Northern Mozambique Channel on 9 March, is expected to make landfall near Beira on 14 or 15 March. Pre-storm flooding in the country has already killed 66 people.

She spoke to reporters late on Tuesday after a cabinet meeting in Maputo to discuss the emergency. Flooding has also destroyed more than 5,700 homes and impacted more than 140,000 people in the southern African country. Not only this, over 168 000 hectares of crops have been destroyed in Mozambique alone.

Authorities there have ordered the compulsory evacuation of people living in flood-prone areas.

As Tropical Cyclone Idai comes back ashore in southern Africa, flooding from the system that became the storm has killed 122 people in Mozambique and Malawi, making it the deadliest weather disaster of 2019.

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In neighbouring Malawi, floods have left over 230 000 people without shelter and affected around 739 000 people, according to the UN.

Almost 17,100 people are estimated to be displaced in Zambezia, Tete and Niassa, who are sheltering in 15 transit centres, and almost 12,500 houses are reported to have been destroyed.

"The government needs 1.1 billion meticais ($16 million) to assist 80,000 families affected by the rains". Rainfall of 50 mm is expected within the next 24 hours in some areas, accompanied by strong winds.

The statement quotes a Southern Africa Regional weather analysis that says a deep and wide low pressure system in the Mozambique Channel developed into a Tropical Cyclone now named IDAI on March 11, at a distance of 900kms from southern Malawi border in Nsanje at a position 17.4 south and 43.2 East approximately west-north of Madagascar, with a south-westward movement towards Beira in Mozambique.

The category 4 cyclone is due to make landfall on Thursday afternoon.

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