- Flooding from Tropical Cyclone Idai has left 122 people dead in Mozambique and Malawi.
- More than 140,000 people have been displaced by the storm.
- The storm is expected to make landfall on Mozambique’s shore Thursday night, bringing even more flooding.
As Mozambique braces for the onslaught of Tropical Cyclone Idai, flooding from the system that became the storm has killed 122 people in Mozambique and Malawi, making it the deadliest weather disaster of 2019.
The initial system killed at least 66 people due to flooding in Mozambique, Agence France-Presse reported. Flooding has also destroyed more than 5,700 homes and impacted more than 140,000 people in the southern African country.
Flooding from the storm has already inundated nearly 650 square miles, destroyed 18 hospitals, 938 classrooms and injured 122 people.
(MORE: Tropical Cyclone Idai Forecast)
Evacuations have been ordered along coastal regions of the country as the cyclone approaches.
“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.
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In Malawi, the government declared a state of emergency after 56 people died and hundreds of thousands were displaced by flooding, the Evening Standard reported.
Before the storm formed over the Mozambique Channel this week, it was a disturbance that settled over the region and unleashed torrential rains the flooded much of the two neighboring countries. The system moved out to sea, formed into a tropical cyclone and is heading back to Mozambique’s shore.
Now considered the deadliest weather disaster of 2019, Idai is expected to bring highly destructive winds, heavy rains in excess of two feet and a 20-foot storm surge.
The storm is expected to make landfall Thursday night near Beira, Mozambique’s fourth largest city, with 530,000 residents.
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