Cyclone set to hit Mozambique hard tonight, dozens already killed

Mar 16, 2019, 00:50
Cyclone set to hit Mozambique hard tonight, dozens already killed

Mozambique cabinet spokesperson Ana Comoana said the "government has decreed a red alert due to the continuing rains and the approach of the tropical cyclone Idai, expected to reach the country between Thursday to Friday", Al Jazeera reported.

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.

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 has been rarely struck by strong hurricane in the past, including Eline in 2000, when 350 people died and 650,000 were displaced across the wider region.

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"The cyclone was located over the Mozambique Channel on March 12 and is expected to strengthen into intense tropical cyclone status (Category 4 equivalent) again prior to making landfall".

THE eastern parts of the country should expect rainfall and windy conditions with effect from today as Cyclone Idai hits the country, the Meteorological Services Department, said yesterday. But Mozambique is one of the most disaster-prone countries in Africa, and climate change is increasing the severity of flooding events there - as it is almost everywhere. In the days before landfall, meteorologists predicted Idai's storm surge could be as high as 26 feet.

According to the Mozambican Master Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction 2017-2030, the Mozambique National Institute for Disaster Management argues that over the last 20 years, the country has experienced increasing high intensity and frequency of extreme weather events.

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Weather service Windy.com showed that the storm was off the east coast of Mozambique, with winds already in excess of 100km/h. We're still waiting for news from officials in Mozambique.

A team of 15 rescuers including rescue technicians, advanced life support paramedics and lifeguards are on their way with six 4X4 vehicles, boats and jet skis to assist the community.

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