The pre-storm flooding in Mozambique has already taken up 66 lives in Mozambique, 45 in Malawi and four in South Africa following torrential rains that have triggered flash floods.
The storm has been intensifying and gathering strength in the Indian Ocean and residents have been warned about the imminent danger posed by the storm. The Mozambican government has already issued the warning to red as the storm approaches.
eNCA meteorologist Annette Venter warned that "Sustained winds of 175km/h with gusts of 212km/h were recorded on Wednesday morning." She further stated that these statistics are equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Reports claim that if the storm continues to intensify it may reach a Category 4 or 5 at its peak.
The storm is expected to hit the shores of Beira and landslides are expected to hit the Beira region at around 8 pm Thursday night.
Authorities have ordered the compulsory evacuation of people living in flood-prone areas.
"Sixteen accommodation centres have been opened in the provinces of Zambezia and Tete to accommodate the displaced," Anna Comoana said, the spokesperson of Mozambique's cabinet.
The Mozambique officials are working directly with their South African counterparts through the National Joint Operations Centre to share information on the storm and its likely impact. Rescue teams have started moving in to prepare for the looming disaster with the Red Cross disaster response teams moving into the affected provinces.
The National Operational Emergency Centre (CENOE) is prepared for extreme weather events. In 2017, the CENOE demonstrated the use of drones to allow teams to assess the impact and scale of natural disasters.
Tropical Storm Idai comes just a month after Tropical Storm Dineo, with winds in excess of 166km/h, hit Mozambique in February. It followed Tropical Storm Desmond, which hit in January.
Header image credit - Sowetan