MAPUTO. – Damage reports are mounting in central Mozambique, where Idai made landfall as an intense tropical cyclone on Thursday night, local time. Idai barrelled onshore north of Beira, Mozambique, with its strength equivalent to aCategory 3 major hurricane in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific oceans.
A child was reportedly struck and killed by storm debris in Manica province, according to Club of Mozambique. Prior to the cyclone’s most recent landfall, Al Jazeera reported that over 100 people were killed by flash flooding across Mozambique and Malawi.
Idai first tracked into north-central Mozambique as a tropical depression with torrential rain last week before moving back over water and rapidly strengthening over the northern Mozambique Channel last weekend and early this week.
BBC News reports that communications have been severed in Beira, Mozambique’s fourth-largest city. The 500,000 residents of the city are also without electricity. Photos emerging from the area show streets littered with downed trees and damage.
Villages along the coastline in the northern Zambezi provinces have been cut off from the mainland by storm surge flooding, according to Reuters.
While land interaction will further cause the winds around Idai to lessen, residents of central Mozambique and neighbouring Zimbabwe should not let their guard down.
Idai can continue to unload torrential and flooding rain over these areas through this weekend and into early next week. A flood disaster can ensue in the hardest-hit areas.
Downpours may also eventually return to the communities struck by the recent deadly flooding farther north in Mozambique and Malawi during next week, threatening to trigger new flooding or exacerbate ongoing issues. – AccuWeather