News Alerts

16 Mar 2019 | 06:07 AM UTC

Mozambique/Zimbabwe: Significant damage reported as Idai passes March 15 /update 4

Mozambique News Alert

Around 1.5 million displaced, 115 killed from Tropical Cyclone Idai in Mozambique and Malawi due to flooding, strong winds as of March 15; heavy rain and winds forecast in Zimbabwe in coming days

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/15/2019, 12:00 AM until 3/18/2019, 11:59 PM (Africa/Maputo). COUNTRY/REGION Sofala, Zambezia province, Manica, Inhambane, Manicaland province (Zimbabwe), Masvingo, Harare, Midlands, Mashonaland East (Zimbabwe), Mashonaland Central province (Zimbabwe)

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Event

Tropical Cyclone Idai struck central Mozambique, resulting in significant damage, widespread flooding, and at least 115 deaths across the country and southern Malawi as of Friday, March 15. While weakened, the remnants of Idai are expected to bring heavy rainfall to Zimbabwe in the coming days and could cause disruptions and damage to the region. The storm's worst effects were felt in Sofala province (Mozambique); approximately 530,00 people were without power in Beira and many towns on the coast were cut off due to flooding and high storm surges. Inhambane, Manica, and Zambezia provinces also experienced flooding and infrastructure damage.

As of late Friday (local time), the storm was categorized as a tropical depression and producing sustained winds of 45 kph (28 mph), though expected to continue to bring heavy rain. Manicaland, Masvingo, Midlands, Harare, Mashonaland East and Central are forecast to receive the harshest effects of the storm. Flooding, power outages, infrastructure damage, and transportation disruptions, including road closures, are likely in the abovementioned areas of Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and in southern Malawi.

Context

Tropical Cyclone Idai, brought heavy rain and flooding to Mozambique's central and northern regions and southern Malawi in the past week, resulting in the deaths of at least 56 people in Malawi and 66 people in Mozambique as of Wednesday, March 13. The flooding has also left hundreds more injured in both countries; in total, approximately 739,000 people have been affected by the flooding in Malawi and 141,000 others in Mozambique, with most forced to seek emergency shelter after their homes sustained flood damage.

Advice

Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate flooding and associated transportation disruptions, including road closures, and remember that walking or driving through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of moving water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater and chemical products; all items having come into contact with floodwater should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.

 

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