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Loss in communications after Cyclone Idai lashes Mozambican port

16 March 2019
Loss in communications after Cyclone Idai lashes Mozambican port

The cyclone is set to affect Beira on the Mozambican coastline.

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.

Ex-tropical cyclone Idai's eye has weakened significantly since landfall.

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".

AccuWeather South Africa reported that the most dire situation for Beira would unfold if Idai makes landfall just to the north of the city, resulting in the highest amount of water piling up around the mouth of the Pungwe River. Locally damaging winds will also be possible in for Zimbabwe.

"There's some cloud and light rain; we're not expecting anything heavy". We're still waiting for news from officials in Mozambique.

According to the Saffir-Simpson scale Cyclone Idai is now and extremely risky category 4 storm and has explosively intensified in the past 8 hours which is expected to make landfall by tomorrow.

According to the Mozambique National Institute for Disaster Management, the National Operational Emergency Centre (CENOE) is prepared for extreme weather events and in 2017, the CENOE demonstrated the use of drones to allow teams to assess the impact and scale of natural disasters.

The cyclone is accompanied by strong winds and thunderstorms and is likely to cause massive destruction in Manicaland, Masvingo and Matabeleland provinces. 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.

"Our intervention includes 70 personnel (aquatic rescue, rescue technicians, rescue divers, advance life support paramedics and doctors), 22 vehicles (4×4), 10 power boats, 4 jet skis, 14 inflatable, non-motorised two-man rescue boats, a range of rescue equipment and access to an eight-seater plane", the organisation's founder Imtiaz Sooliman said in a brief statement.