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A powerful tropical storm made landfall in Mozambique on Thursday evening, battering a coastal city with heavy rain and wind at speeds of up to up 170km/h and injuring several people.

"It [Idai] is on its way to Beira, it's going to make landfall tonight", South African Weather Service forecaster Jan Vermeulen told News24 on Thursday.

The MSD said Tropical Cyclone Idai is expected to take a north-westerly direction moving further inland and reaching some parts of the country. Cyclone Eline, which hit the country in February 2000 when it was already devastated by its worst floods in three decades, killed 350 people and made 650,000 homeless across Southern Africa.

"The cyclone was located over the Mozambique Channel on March 12 and is expected to strengthen into intense tropical cyclone status (Category 4 equivalent) again prior to making landfall".

In Beira, residents have been working for years to prepare for a storm like Idai, building retention ponds for floodwaters and trying to focus the city's growth on higher elevation neighborhoods.

Durban rescuers lend a hand to Mozambique as Cyclone Idai approaches

At least 100 people have been killed and close to a million affected by torrential rains in Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa as tropical cyclone Idai heads to Zimbabwe.

The South Coast Sun is also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest - why not join us there? But Mozambique is one of the most disaster-prone countries in Africa, and climate change is increasing the severity of flooding events there - as it is almost everywhere.

According to the Mozambique National Institute for Disaster Management, the National Operational Emergency Centre (CENOE) is prepared for extreme weather events and in 2017, the CENOE demonstrated the use of drones to allow teams to assess the impact and scale of natural disasters.

Mozambique ranks third among countries in Africa most susceptible to weather-related hazards, according to the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery. It followed Tropical Storm Desmond, which hit in January.

The group has said it was ready to deploy 70 staff, along with 4x4 vehicles, boats, and jetskis to help with rescue efforts.

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