Cyclone Idai To Hit Zimbabwe In 24 Hours

The Southern African Development Community Climate Service Centre (SADC-CSC) on March 13, 2019, issued a tropical cyclone alert whose forecast period is 13-17 March.

The Tropical Cyclone has been named Cyclone Idai which, as of March 13, was still moving towards central Mozambique with a speed of 176km/h. It has already killed hundreds in parts of Malawi and Mozambique.

Cyclone Idai is expected to make landfall on 15 March 2019.

Tropical Cyclone Idai has regained intensity and is expected to make landfall near Beira City in central Mozambique on the evening of 14 March, with maximum sustained winds of 180 to 190 kilometres per hour. On 14 March at 0.00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the cyclone’s centre was located approximately 315 kilometres east of Beira in Sofala Province, with maximum sustained winds of 194 kilometres per hour.

Tropical Cyclone Idai is forecast to bring strong winds, heavy rains and storm surge to Zambezia, Sofala, Manica and Inhambane Provinces in Mozambique from 14 to 17 March.

Heavy rain and strong winds could also affect Niassa and Cabo Delgado provinces in the north of Mozambique, as well as eastern Zimbabwe and southern Malawi. Several experts predict that Cyclone Idai could be the strongest cyclone to make landfall in Mozambique since Tropical Cyclone Eline, which struck Mozambique in February 2000.

Flooding caused by the Tropical Cyclone Idai weather system since early March had affected more than 1 million people and caused at least 122 deaths as of 13 March.

In Malawi, more than 922,900 people had been impacted, according to the Government, with 56 deaths and 577 injuries recorded. More than 82,700 people are estimated to be displaced, while rapid needs assessments continue in the hardest-hit areas to verify initial estimates and determine the number of people in need of immediate humanitarian assistance.

Satellite imagery shows Chikawa district as particularly affected. In Mozambique, 141,000 people have been affected with 66 deaths recorded and 111 people injured, according to media reports quoting government officials. More than 17,100 people are estimated to be displaced in Zambezia and Tete, with 10 transit centres established in Zambezia and two in Tete. More than 168,000 hectares of crops have been impacted, according to media reports.

The Mozambican authorities have issued a red alert regarding Tropical Cyclone Idai and humanitarian response is ongoing in Malawi and Mozambique. In Mozambique, assistance is being provided in transit centres for people already displaced by floods, with the government providing food and non-food items, with support from local and international partners, including the private sector.

However, access remains challenging due to extensive damage to roads. In Malawi, delivery of humanitarian assistance, including food and non-food items, is underway in the hardest-hit districts, led by the Government with support from local and international partners.

The direct and extended danger area covers the central part of Mozambique, Malawi, east Botswana, Zimbabwe, central-east Zambia and extreme south DRC.

Parts of northwestern, central and north-east Zimbabwe are likely to receive increased rainfall amounts with direct impact due to Tropical Cyclone Idai around the 15th to 17th March 2019.

East Botswana, extreme south DDRC, Malawi, Mozambique, north South Africa, central Zambia and Zimbabwe are expected to be impacted heavily by the tropical cyclone.

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