Tropical storm Chalane makes landfall in Mozambique

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BEIRA, MOZAMBIQUE - MARCH 24: An aerial view of a neighborhood affected by Cyclone Idai on March 24, 2019 in Beira, Mozambique. Thousands of people are still stranded after after storm hit the country last week. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
BEIRA, MOZAMBIQUE – MARCH 24: An aerial view of a neighborhood affected by Cyclone Idai on March 24, 2019 in Beira, Mozambique. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

A powerful tropical storm dubbed Chalane made landfall near the central Mozambique city of Beira early on Wednesday.

The storm brought heavy rain and wind to an area devastated by Cyclone Idai nearly two years ago.

Beira, a low-lying coastal city of 500,000 people is home to Mozambique’s second-largest port that serves as a gateway to landlocked countries in the region.

Residents living in the path of the tropical storm Chalane and near rivers were asked by the government to move to safer areas.

Chalane had maximum sustained winds of 85 km/h with gusts exceeding 120 km/h, according to an update issued by the French weather service’s regional cyclone centre in La Reunion.

“The storm is now tracking inland through central Mozambique and is moving towards Zimbabwe. Government and humanitarian partners hope to begin evaluating the first impacts of the storm as soon as this afternoon,” Helvisney Cardoso, United Nations Mozambique Communications Specialist, said in a statement.

International aid agencies say that tens of thousands of people are still displaced from Idai and living in camps.

The Mozambican government was meeting to assess the impact of the storm and how it would respond.

In Zimbabwe, the government had started evacuating people from eastern parts of the country, where thousands were displaced by Cyclone Idai.

Zimbabwe’s Meteorological Services Department said there was a high risk of flooding in the region.

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