"Substantial devastation with massive flooding both from river and sea is expected" when Idai makes landfall, South African charity Gift of the Givers said, indicating it was ready to deploy 70 rescue staff, along with 4x4 vehicles, boats, and jetskis to help with rescue efforts.
"Masvingo, Manicaland, Mashonaland East and central provinces should start experiencing cloudy and windy conditions with isolated thundershowers".
Cyclone Idai is expected to produce winds of up too 200-kilometres an hour. If this scenario is realized, thousands of homes and businesses will be underwater - particularly just south of Beira's airport - with more than 1,000 residents potentially displaced.
"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", said cabinet spokeswoman Ana Comoana.
Durban rescuers lend a hand to Mozambique as Cyclone Idai approaches
The death toll from the flooding in Mozambique has risen to ten. More than a million people have already been directly affected by the disaster. It is calling for a devastating 10- to 14-foot storm surge, with destructive waves and surf that could propel water even higher.
The Mozambican government's emergency services has yet to give an update on the situation. The cyclone was located over the Mozambique Channel on 12 March and is expected to strengthen into intense tropical cyclone status (Category 4 equivalent) again prior to making landfall. "In rural areas, communities should contact local police, councillors or nearest clinic". 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.
That would make it the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in Mozambique since Tropical Cyclone Eline which struck the country in February 2000, claiming at least 800 lives.
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