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Mozambique Airlines (LAM) has announced the cancellation of several flights in the centre and north of the country on Thursday and Friday, due to Cyclone Idai.
With heavy rains and strong winds forecast, Thursday flights to and from provincial capitals Beira, Queliimane and Chimoio are cancelled, likewise Nampula, in this case in the afternoon only, the state company announces in a statement.
The interdiction also applies to Beira and Chimoio flights on Friday morning.
The Mozambican National Institute of Meteorology (INAM) predicts that Cyclone Idai, which is currently active in the Mozambique Channel – the stretch of the Indian Ocean that separates Mozambique from the island of Madagascar – will make landfall in the provincial capital of Beira on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday, although its effects will be felt earlier.
INAM predicts that the cyclone will cause winds of up to 200 kilometres per hour, accompanied by heavy rain, severe thunderstorms and seas of up to ten metres.
Cyclone Idai is the second storm to hit Mozambique in just over a week.
At least 15 people have died and more than 103,000 have been affected by heavy rains and floods in central and northern Mozambique, the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said yesterday.
On Tuesday, Mozambique’s Council of Ministers issued a red alert preparation for Cyclone Idai. Mozambique is often affected by extreme weather phenomena, with the south registering drought and the centre and north often flooded.
— Duarte Gouveia (@duarteg0uveia) March 14, 2019
Cyclone #Idai now about 12 hours from landfall over or very close to the #Mozambique city of #Beira. Wind strengths in excess of 100 mph, storm surge and heavy rain expected. pic.twitter.com/Ug1MVlEp0C
— Met Office Storms (@metofficestorms) March 14, 2019