Durban rescuers lend a hand to Mozambique as Cyclone Idai approaches

Malawi floods kill 56, over 80000 displaced as cyclone approaches

The United Nations reported that by Monday evening, Cyclone Idai, which is moving from Mozambique to Zimbabwe, had killed at least 10 people after heavy rains deluged two flood-prone provinces of the neighbouring country.

Chipiliro Khamula, spokesman for Malawi's Department of Disaster Management, said 56 deaths had been recorded as of Tuesday, as well as 577 injuries.

"If the projected movement of the cyclone is maintained, this should continue to bring moisture over most parts of Zimbabwe with significant rainfall (at least 30 mm in 24 hours) over Masvingo, Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central", it said. More than a million people have already been directly affected by the disaster.

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. Not only this, over 168 000 hectares of crops have been destroyed in Mozambique alone. Electricity and water may be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm.

The Malawian and Mozambican governments are leading humanitarian responses in their respective countries, supported by humanitarian partners. The Government and partners are providing assistance to affected people.

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Mozambique cabinet spokesperson Ana Comoana said the "government has decreed a red alert due to the continuing rains and the approach of the tropical cyclone Idai, expected to reach the country between Thursday to Friday", Al Jazeera reported.

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

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

This system turned around and once again came back to Mozambique Channel and received warmed waters resulting in strengthening.

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