Residents warned as tropical cyclone Idai intensifies over Mozambique

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Residents warned as tropical cyclone Idai intensifies over Mozambique

In Malawi, almost 739,800 people have been impacted, according to the Government, with 45 deaths and 577 injuries recorded. If this scenario is realized, thousands of homes and businesses will be underwater - particularly just south of Beira's airport - with more than 1,000 residents potentially displaced. In Mozambique, more than 103,100 people have been affected (more than 48,000 people in Zambezia, more than 51,200 in Tete and almost 3,900 in Niassa), with 15 deaths recorded.

The storm threatens a familiar natural disaster in Mozambique, which has already seen deadly floods worsened by devastating hurricanes in both 2000 and 2007.

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.

More than 168,000 hectares (415,000 acres) of crops were destroyed, the government spokeswoman added.

In a statement made available to Nyasa Times, the department is asking Malawians that to secure property and lives, the public should therefore take precautionary measures such as moving to higher grounds when water levels have started rising; avoiding crossing flooding rivers and not seeking shelter under trees and weak infrastructure. In Malawi, humanitarian response, search and rescue efforts and rapid needs assessments are underway, and the Government has appealed for support in terms of provision of emergency relief items, including tents, food, medicines and helicopters for rescue operations and delivery of assistance. Flood water and food which has been in contact with flood water is not safe.

"Disaster teams and officials are assessing the damage".

Cyclone Idai is expected to produce winds of up too 200-kilometres an hour.

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.

Now Malawi has been put on alert for more rain and flooding on Thursday when Tropical Cyclone Idai is expected to make landfall through Beira, in neighbouring Mozambique, the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services said.

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

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