Rainfall accumulation as Cyclone Idai hits Mozambique
CAPE TOWN - Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall over Beira late on Thursday night as an intense tropical cyclone
The cyclone had a central pressure of 960 hPa, sustained (for 10 minutes) wind speeds of 165 km/h and maximum wind speed of 230 km/h.
On Thursday afternoon a storm surge warning was issued for Beira, Mozambique’s fourth largest city, which is situated on the northern bank of the massive Pungwe river.
The Regional Specialized Meteorological (RSMC) Center of La Reunion, who monitors tropical cyclones in the Mozambique channel and southwest Indian ocean, warned that sea level rises up to 4m could be expected in Beira on Thursday night, while storm surge levels between 5 and 6m were possible in the Pungwe river mouth.
Worldwide, storm surge is responsible for the most deaths when it comes to tropical cyclones.
Ex-tropical cyclone Idai’s eye has weakened significantly since landfall.
Without the energy from the warm waters of the Mozambique channel, the system will continue to weaken on Friday, but will still continue to bring torrential rain over central Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe into the weekend, while gale force winds will start to moderate during Friday.
By the end of the weekend, rainfall amounts in excess of 300mm could have occurred over parts of central Mozambique and the far eastern parts of Zimbabwe.