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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Cyclone Idai intensifies to a category 4 cyclone, should start moving today

Mozambique remains in the firing line come Thursday.


The latest warnings state that an overall red alert has been issued for Mozambique and red score by GDACS. According to the Saffir-Simpson scale Cyclone Idai is now and extremely dangerous category 4 storm and has explosively intensified in the past 8 hours.

Invest 98S started out as a tropical depression in the Mozambican channel and intensified to a moderate tropical storm. IDAI-19 is now at such an intensity that she can have a high humanitarian impact. This is based on the maximum sustained wind speed, exposed population and vulnerability.

This tropical storm is now called #Idai and has been named by Meteo France, and was intensifying off the western coast of Madagascar yesterday morning. The storm could rapidly intensify as it turns south and then westwards over the Mozambique Channel, with a landfall likely in central Mozambique on Thursday or Friday as an intense cyclone.

The nature of its intensification phase will likely be determined by its early track, with a higher chance of intensification if the storm continues to move at a significant speed without stalling.

The precursor to Idai has already killed 23 in Malawi, with 12 still missing and 29 injured.

A green alert for Mozambique has been issued and direct impact remains high.

We previously reported that Idai had maximum winds of 75 kilometers per hour and maximum gusts of 110 kilometres per hour. The winds yesterday intensified to 185 kilometres per hour and, although she is moving  at 5km per hour slower than last week this shouldn’t fool anyone and Storm Report SA warns “she is picking up more strength very quickly”.

If anything started affecting the northeastern parts of South-Africa, Storm Report SA would update promptly.  For now they were monitoring the situation every hour.

On Tuesday morning, Storm Report SA said: “IDAI has become a cyclone, hardly moving in the past 24 hours, but is now expected to start shifting slowly westward, making landfall in the vicinity of the Mozambique port of Beira late on Thursday. That uncommon course is dictated by a high altitude wind system.The storm looks set to remain rather small in diameter, which will minimize the size of the areas impacted. At present, those are the districts of Sofala and Zambezia (especially the south side) where today there will be some light showers in a light southerly breeze.”

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