It has been one week now, since rains have been lashing the Southeast African region. Cyclone Idai was a disturbance earlier which from the Mozambique channel moved inland to parts of Mozambique and Malawi around March 8 causing hefty showers on March 8 and 9.
In fact, so far, in Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa 115 people have been killed due to heavy rains with 8,43,000 people being affected throughout the region. The death toll is 66 in Mozambique, 45 in Malawi and 4 have been killed in South Africa.
Flooding in Mozambique has caused the destruction of over 5500 homes along with affecting over 15000 households. Not only this, over 168 000 hectares of crops have been destroyed in Mozambique alone.
This system turned around and once again came back to Mozambique Channel and received warmed waters resulting in strengthening. Now, the system is a Cat 3 storm and may become a Cat 4 storm.
The storm is likely to make landfall near Beira, which lies in the eastern Mozambique on March 14 or 15
Even after it strikes, it is to be watched for another 48 hours causing torrential rains, high velocity winds over parts of South Africa and Malawi again. Wind speed of the storm is about 200 kmph.
Moreover, heavy rains, flash floods, and high velocity winds will remain a highlight throughout the storm’s lifespan.
Image Credit: NOAA