Floods kill 66 in Mozambique, 45 in Malawi

Cyclone Idai

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At least 66 people have been killed and 141,000 affected after heavy rains deluged central and northern Mozambique, the government has said as it appealed for funds to manage the crisis.

"Tropical Cyclone IDAI is expected to make a landfall over Beira in Mozambique which is 480kms to Nsanje Boma by Thursday 14 March, while dumping heavy rains overland in Mozambique including southern Malawi".

Regions of Mozambique have also already been affected by flooding.

She spoke to reporters late on Tuesday after a cabinet meeting in Maputo to discuss the emergency. 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 Mozambique, 111 people have been injured, 18 hospitals destroyed, 938 classrooms destroyed and 9 763 students affected. Not only this, over 168 000 hectares of crops have been destroyed in Mozambique alone.

Authorities have ordered the compulsory evacuation of people living in flood-prone areas.

Almost 17,100 people are estimated to be displaced in Zambezia, Tete and Niassa, who are sheltering in 15 transit centres, and almost 12,500 houses are reported to have been destroyed.

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Malawi's Meteorological Department has warned of more rains and flooding in the country's south between Thursday and Sunday.

That would make it the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in Mozambique since Tropical Cyclone Eline which struck the country in February 2000, claiming at least 800 lives.

"Gusts of winds estimated to be over 250km hour are set to lash the coastline with an expected rainfall of 300 - 350ml".

Another storm in 2015 left more than 100 people dead.

Tropical cyclones spin clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere, putting the city of half a million on the extremely risky and more intense side of the storm's eyewall, the zone of most powerful winds and where storm surge is maximized.

"It's an intense tropical cyclone; it will have winds of 105 knots (200km/h) when it makes landfall", said Vermeulen.

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