Southern Africa: Cyclone Idai Snapshot (as of 12 March 2019) - Malawi

Tropical Cyclone Idai is shown approaching landfall in Mozambique late Thursday

Floods have already claimed 30 lives and left over 230,000 people without shelter in southern Malawi which borders Mozambique.

According to recent report from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA), the death toll from the floods and heavy rains has risen to 45 and over 577 injured and over 90,000 households affected.

"We are expecting more than 100mm of rain in places; it could even reach 200mm or more in places".

"Accordingly, all communities in Masvingo, Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Central and other parts of the country that may be affected must maintain vigilance and are advised that every effort must be made to access weather updates and pay particular attention to information needs of people with disabilities and those with chronic illnesses", said the CPU. The storm packs sustained winds of 115 miles per hour and threatens a month's worth of rainfall for an already waterlogged region - the makings of a looming humanitarian catastrophe.

Some 62 975 people were affected by the floods in the provinces of Niassa, Tete and Zambezia. More than 168 000 hectares of crops were destroyed, the government spokeswoman added.

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A light aircraft has been dispatched with a team of specialists to Malawi to establish the exact humanitarian assistance required.

Disaster relief organisation Gift of the Givers, says it is on high alert and ready to assist in Mozambique, where Tropical Cyclone Idai is expected to make landfall.

Authorities have ordered the compulsory evacuation of people living in flood-prone areas.

Idai is the strongest tropical cyclone - the generic meteorological term for a hurricane or typhoon - to approach Mozambique since 2000, and the strongest to affect Beira in at least 56 years. With the current population of Beira believed to be 250,000 and gusts of winds estimated to be over 250km/hour, Cyclone Idai is expected to be the largest the area has seen in a decade.

This system turned around and once again came back to Mozambique Channel and received warmed waters resulting in strengthening.

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