Evacuation plans for certain areas in Moz due to Cyclone Idai

Malawi floods kill 56, over 80000 displaced as cyclone approaches

Flooding from Idai's path inland has already killed 122 people in Mozambique and Malawi, making it the deadliest weather disaster this year.

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.

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.

AccuWeather South Africa reported that the most dire situation for Beira would unfold if Idai makes landfall just to the north of the city, resulting in the highest amount of water piling up around the mouth of the Pungwe River. "The main thing is wind damage and high waves that could go up to 10m", said Vermeulen, adding that storm surges were also a concern.

The number of people killed in floods in southern Malawi has risen to 56, an official said on Wednesday, with the country now also on alert for an approaching tropical cyclone.

Some 62 975 people were affected by the floods in the provinces of Niassa, Tete and Zambezia.

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

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. 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.

The Mozambican government's emergency services have yet to give an update on the situation.

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

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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