Cyclone seen worsening Mozambique floods

Source:Reuters.com Author:Charles Mangwiro Date:03/25/14 Click:

Cyclone Ivan is expected to lash Mozambique with heavy rains when it reaches land, worsening the flooding that has engulfed parts of the southern African nation.

Ivan killed at least 11 people when it swept through Madagascar earlier this week, packing winds of more than 200 kph (125 mph). It was one of the largest cyclones ever to hit the Indian Ocean island.

Officials in Mozambique fear it may do similar damage when it makes landfall on Tuesday or Wednesday.

"We are monitoring it on satellite and we expect it to intensify by tomorrow very close to Madagascar and have an impact on the rainfall in Mozambique," Mussa Mustafa, the head of Mozambique's National Meteorological Institute, told Reuters.

Mozambique is among a handful of southern African nations that have been pelted with torrential rains in recent weeks, causing rivers to burst their banks and forcing thousands of villagers to flee flooded homes.

At least 45 people have died in the region from the floods.

Cyclones hit Mozambique in 2000-2001, worsening floods that killed 700 people and drove half a million from their homes.

(Reporting by Charles Mangwiro; editing by Paul Simao and Giles Elgood)

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