Zambezi valley threat

 

"Its magnitude is stronger than that of the Cyclone Eline, the worst to hit Mozambique in 2000."

 

Radio Mozambique said that the cyclone has caused widespread damage at the holiday resort of Tofo Beach, uprooting palm trees and destroying electric pylons.

 

Sueia said the storm was moving northwards at an average speed of 50km per hour, heading towards the central Zambezi river valley which is already struggling with a serious flood disaster.

 

"It's moving so fast and by tomorrow it will strike the central port city of Beira as it heads towards the already flood-stricken region in Caia," Sueia said.

 

"It will be a sad scenario for the people ... to be hit by a cyclone at a time when they are healing from the recent flooding"

Fernanda Teixeira, Mozambique Red Cross general
secretary

"It's accompanied by torrential rains which may worsen the flooding situation along the Zambezi valley."

 

Early warning system

 

Mozambique's cyclone early warning system said a storm of Favio's magnitude could bring widespread destruction of homes, buildings and industrial structures including power grids, as well as crops and trees.

 

Tens of thousands of people are already in temporary shelters and officials are having difficulty keeping them supplied with food and fresh water.

 

Fernanda Teixeira, Mozambique Red Cross general secretary, said: "Our disaster management team is currently busy responding to the floods."

 

"It will be a sad scenario for the people ... to be hit by a cyclone at a time when they are healing from the recent flooding."

 

Officials said the problems could multiply in the coming days as Favio throws rain into Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe, swelling tributaries which feed the already flooded Zambezi.

 

Mozambique's worst disaster in recent history occurred in 2000-2001 when a series of cyclones compounded widespread flooding in southern and central parts of the country, killing 700 people and driving close to half a million from their homes.