As Mozambique braces for the onslaught of Tropical Cyclone Idai, flooding from the system that became the storm has killed 122 people in Mozambique and Malawi, making it the deadliest weather disaster of 2019.
The initial system killed at least 66 people due to flooding in Mozambique, Agence France-Presse reported. Flooding has also destroyed more than 5,700 homes and impacted more than 140,000 people in the southern African country.
Anticipated heavy rains & strong winds due to Tropical cyclone IDAI in ZIM. Pictures show the impact in MOZAMBIQUE. @OMpslsw @ZimbabweSocial @InfoMinZW @MoHCCZim @NkosiDibiti @METHI_Zimbabwe @Enviro_Reports @UNEnvironment #CycloneIdai #harare #zimbabwe #manicaland #Cyclones pic.twitter.com/2Va9EsUP76— TheZimbabweSentinel (@sentinelzim) March 15, 2019
Flooding from the storm has already inundated nearly 650 square miles, destroyed 18 hospitals, 938 classrooms and injured 122 people.
Tropical Cyclone #Idai will likely be the strongest TC to hit Mozambique since Eline in 2000 (115 kt). Unfortunate timing of ERC completion about a day before landfall means wind field will be both larger and stronger at the time of landfall. Environmental conditions are ideal. pic.twitter.com/xn6Bgig6aA— Levi Cowan (@TropicalTidbits) March 13, 2019
Evacuations have been ordered along coastal regions of the country as the cyclone approaches. Now in Beira, Mozambique:
“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,” said cabinet spokeswoman Ana Comoana.
Powerful #cyclone Idai is expected to lash #Mozambique, threatening to destroy homes and put thousands of lives at risk. #RedCross teams are on the ground, ready to respond. pic.twitter.com/K979Pptflq— IFRC Intl. Federation #RedCross #RedCrescent (@ifrc) March 12, 2019
In Malawi, the government declared a state of emergency after 56 people died and hundreds of thousands were displaced by flooding.
Before the storm formed over the Mozambique Channel this week, it was a disturbance that settled over the region and unleashed torrential rains the flooded much of the two neighboring countries. The system moved out to sea, formed into a tropical cyclone and is heading back to Mozambique’s shore. Look at its weird shape below:
“Extremely dangerous” tropical cyclone #Idai is approaching landfall in #Mozambique, with sustained max winds of 165 kmh and life threatening storm surge which may coincide with high tide. Potential “worst case scenario” for Beira, says WMO RSMC La Reunion @meteofrance pic.twitter.com/yGJKO1K9xe— WMO | OMM (@WMO) March 14, 2019
Now considered the deadliest weather disaster of 2019, Idai is expected to bring highly destructive winds, heavy rains in excess of two feet and a 20-foot storm surge.
DEADLY CYCLONE IDAI category 3 intensity upon landfall in Mozambique. Dangerously high seas, extreme flooding, strong, damaging winds, storm surges & significant rainfall #Mozambique #cyclone #CycloneIdai CLICK LINK FOR VIDEO UPDATE: https://t.co/1J5gpZmZHe pic.twitter.com/9NM3WTtUXY— HVN Earth News (@HvnNews) March 15, 2019
The storm is expected to make landfall Thursday night near Beira, Mozambique’s fourth largest city, with 530,000 residents.
Meanwhile, Europe and the USA are being devastated by severe storms! Man-made weather control at its best!