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Mozambique Braces for 'Worst Case Scenario' as Cyclone Idai Makes Landfall

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Cyclone Idia to make landfall on 14 March

The government, with support from local and worldwide partners, is providing assistance to people already displaced by floods, but access is being impeded by road damage, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"It's an intense tropical cyclone; it will have winds of 105 knots (200km/h) when it makes landfall", said Vermeulen.

Tropical Cyclone Idai is shown approaching landfall in Mozambique late Thursday.

The cyclone, named Tropical Cyclone Idai, is gathering strength over the Indian Ocean and is predicted to hit the country in the city of Beira in Sofala Province.

The Department of Climate Change and Meteological Services has warned a spell of unsettled weather, marked by heavy thundershowers, strong winds that will batter some parts of the Southern Region from Friday.

"We are expecting more than 100mm of rain in places; it could even reach 200mm or more in places".

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

"There was no tsunami-type storm but Beira and Chinde (400 kilometres, 250 miles northeast of Beira on the coast) were badly hit".

Idai slammed onshore with destructive winds and flooding rain in the vicinity of Beira.

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. 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.

According to the Mozambican Master Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction 2017-2030, the Mozambique National Institute for Disaster Management argues that over the last 20 years, the country has experienced increasing high intensity and frequency of extreme weather events.

A team of 15 rescuers including rescue technicians, advanced life support paramedics and lifeguards are on their way with six 4X4 vehicles, boats and jet skis to assist the community.

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