Mozambique Cyclone Idai: SA team prepares to leave for rescue mission

Mozambique Cyclone Idai: SA team prepares to leave for rescue mission

The cyclone is centred near the city of Chimoio in Manica Province but it is not having a significant impact on South African weather.

Flooding from Tropical Cyclone Idai has left 122 people dead in Mozambique and Malawi.

Will Cyclone Idai hit South Africa?

Cyclone Idai was bringing more floodwater and destruction to areas of Mozambique and Malawi where scores of people have already been killed and tens of thousands displaced by floods over the past few weeks.

In Beira, residents have been working for years to prepare for a storm like Idai, building retention ponds for floodwaters and trying to focus the city's growth on higher elevation neighborhoods. Rainfall of 50 mm is expected within the next 24 hours in some areas, accompanied by strong winds. The deluge will also be in the eastern parts of Zimbabwe. But Mozambique is one of the most disaster-prone countries in Africa, and climate change is increasing the severity of flooding events there - as it is almost everywhere.

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Government authorities in Mozambique have ordered a coastal evacuation and raised the national alert level to "institutional code red", its highest state of emergency.

Rescuers from different South African agencies are preparing to leave for neighbouring Mozambique in anticipation for Rescue and Relief efforts for the category 3 hurricane Idai that is set to land on Thursday afternoon.

Mozambique ranks third among countries in Africa most susceptible to weather-related hazards, according to the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.

News24 reported that Tropical Storm Dineo, with winds in excess of 166km/h, hit Mozambique in February.

"Our intervention includes 70 personnel (aquatic rescue, rescue technicians, rescue divers, advance life support paramedics and doctors), 22 vehicles (4×4), 10 power boats, 4 jet skis, 14 inflatable, non-motorised two-man rescue boats, a range of rescue equipment and access to an eight-seater plane", the organisation's founder Imtiaz Sooliman said in a brief statement.

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