Southern Africa: Cyclone Idai Snapshot (as of 12 March 2019) - Malawi

Idai is expected to weaken into an overland depression on Friday but is still expected to result in significant and torrential rainfall and widespread flooding over the Sofala and Manica provinces of Mozambique.

A powerful tropical storm made landfall in Mozambique on Thursday evening, battering a coastal city with heavy rain and wind at speeds of up to up 170km/h and injuring several people.

Cyclone Idai makes landfall in Mozambique.

Mozambican authorities have issued a red alert regarding Tropical Cyclone Idai and humanitarian response is ongoing in Malawi and Mozambique.

A potentially disastrous cyclone is set to make landfall in the African country of Mozambique, most likely bringing a devastating storm surge and flooding to the nation's fourth-largest city.

"There's some cloud and light rain; we're not expecting anything heavy".

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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.

"There was no tsunami-type storm but Beira and Chinde (400 kilometres, 250 miles northeast of Beira on the coast) were badly hit".

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

Idai slammed onshore with destructive winds and flooding rain in the vicinity of Beira.

News24 reported that Tropical Storm Dineo, with winds in excess of 166km/h, hit Mozambique in February. "Houses and trees were destroyed and pylons downed", an official at the National Institute of Disaster Management told AFP.

Rescue Care Paramedics Media spokesperson, Garrith Jamieson said 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.

  • Sonia Alvarado