A tropical cyclone is a low-pressure weather phenomenon that forms over oceans when the water temperature is at least 26 degrees Celsius. South Africa has, through President Cyril Ramaphosa, received humanitarian and search and rescue requests from his counterparts in both Malawi and Mozambique.
After much damage and displacement, Cyclone Idai has finally made a landfall at late night and early morning of Friday in Mozambique near the port of Beira, wherein the latitude and longitude were 19.6°S and 34.8°E.
At least 100 people have been killed and close to a million affected by torrential rains in Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa as tropical cyclone Idai heads to Zimbabwe.
The wave of cancellations came as the United Nations warned that "tropical cyclone Idai has regained intensity and is expected to make landfall near Beira city in central Mozambique" later Thursday.
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The storm is expected to deliver a massive punch to the country when it hits, as pre-storm flooding in Mozambique has already killed 66 people. Rapid needs assessments are ongoing in the areas hardest-hit by rains and flooding to verify initial estimates regarding the number of people affected and determine the number of people in need of immediate humanitarian assistance.
"It's an intense tropical cyclone; it will have winds of 105 knots (200km/h) when it makes landfall", said Vermeulen.
Matabeleland is a region which covers a considerable part of the south western plateau of Zimbabwe.
Mozambique is prone to extreme weather events.
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The Mozambican government's emergency services have yet to give an update on the situation. Rainfall of 50 mm is expected within the next 24 hours in some areas, accompanied by strong winds.
Delaware-based energy giant Anadarko and South African petrochemical group Sasol have significant investments in major liquefied natural gas projects off northern Mozambique, but these are now out of harm's way.
Weather service Windy.com showed that the storm was off the east coast of Mozambique, with winds already in excess of 100km/h.
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