Malawi and Mozambique have requested assistance from the South African government following the destruction caused by Cyclone Idai in the two neighbouring countries. Picture: The South African Government News Agency

DURBAN - The South African Weather Service says Mozambique’s Cyclone Idai will not pose a threat to South Africa according to the South African Government News Agency.

However, in a statement issued today, the agency said SA will have its own, unrelated weather challenges such as possible heavy rains and localised flash flooding in some parts of the country. 

“The cyclone which has already claimed ten lives in Mozambique - comes with the warning of dangerously high seas, extreme flooding, strong, damaging winds, storm surges and significant rainfall,” said the agency. 

It is reported that Idai is expected to weaken into an overland depression on Friday but is still expected to result in significant and torrential rainfall and widespread flooding over the Sofala and Manica provinces of Mozambique. 

The torrential rainfall will also be in the eastern parts of Zimbabwe and the southern parts of Malawi which have been already hit by severe flooding over the past week. 

“The South African Weather Service will continue to monitor any further developments relating to this weather system and will issue subsequent updates as required,” said the South African Weather Services.

Paramedics and rescuers from KwaZulu-Natal headed to Mozambique yesterday to assist people who may need help when cyclone Idai hits land today.

Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, founder of relief organisation Gift of the Givers said Malawi and Mozambique have felt the brunt of Tropical Cyclone Idai since its inception on 9 March.

“Already close to a million people have been displaced, scores have died and thousands of homes have been destroyed beyond repair,” he said. 

He explained that landfall is expected in Beira, Mozambique, sometime between 9 pm this evening and 8 am tomorrow.

“Gift of the Givers are on high alert and will respond depending on the degree of devastation but more importantly, only if a call is made by the Mozambican Government for urgent assistance,” said Sooliman.

He said the intervention offered Gift of the Givers includes 70 personnel (aquatic rescue, rescue technicians, rescue divers, advanced life support paramedics and doctors), 22 vehicles (4×4), 10 power boats, 4 jet skis, 14 inflatable, non-motorised 2 man rescue boats, a range of rescue equipment and access to an 8 seater plane. 

“This is Gift of the Givers largest water rescue preparation in its 26-year history. We have assisted Mozambique in 2000, 2001, 2006 and 2013,” Sooliman said.

THE MERCURY