Deadly Idai to threaten more lives, property as it makes landfall on Mozambique

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
March 15, 2019, 5:29:00 AM EDT

Dangerous Idai will put more lives and property in peril as it makes landfall on Mozambique. Over 100 people have been killed by flash flooding across Mozambique and Malawi prior to the cyclone's landfall, according to Al Jazeera.

The cyclone made landfall over central Mozambique on Thursday night.

Rough seas and surf will continue into Friday as Idai slowly moves inland even as the storm loses cyclone status.

Idai 3/15

The worst of the storm's rain and wind will rage into Friday.

Idai slammed onshore with destructive winds and flooding rain in the vicinity of Beira. Life-threatening storm-surge flooding can put coastal communities underwater near and south of where Idai made landfall.

Ethiopian Airlines jetliner crashes shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 people on board
Neighbors helping neighbors: How getting to know the people next door can save you during a natural disaster
Storm surge: Explaining the fury and science behind one of nature's most potent forces
6 essential apps to have on your phone for when natural disasters strike

Storm-surge flooding may also spread farther up the Pungwe River, inundating homes and businesses.

The winds were strong enough to cause devastating damage, including to well-built framed homes, in the vicinity of landfall. Electricity and water may be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm.

idaiimpacts 3/14

As Idai tracks inland, flooding downpours will spread throughout the interior of central Mozambique and into eastern Zimbabwe from Friday into this weekend.

Locations across central Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe can expected 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) of rainfall through Sunday with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 400 mm (16 inches).


A satellite image of Idai nearing landfall on Thursday, March 14, 2019. (Photo/NOAA)

A few downpours may extend as far north and west as Harare, Zimbabewe, on Saturday and Sunday.

Land interaction caused the cyclone to rapidly weaken quickly on Friday. Regardless, damaging winds may still spread across more of inland central Mozambique into the day on Saturday. Locally damaging winds will also be possible in far eastern Zimbabwe.

Idai is forecast to dissipate over western Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe this weekend; however additional showers and thunderstorms will bring the risk for localized flooding early next week across the region.

Download the free AccuWeather app to remain aware of any tropical hazards threatening your community.

Podcast banner for news stories

Report a Typo


Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News