Johannesburg - A powerful tropical storm made landfall in Mozambique on Thursday evening, battering a coastal town with heavy rain and wind at speeds of up to up 170 km an hour.
In Beira, a gateway for imports to landlocked countries in south-east Africa, Twitter images showed billboards blown off and electricity and telephone poles knocked down.
There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries from the cyclone Idai, which dumped more water and brought destruction on areas where scores have already been killed and tens of thousands displaced by floods over the past week.
The Mozambican government's emergency services has yet to give an update on the situation. The storm was also expected to hit parts of neighbouring Malawi.
"Cyclone Idai made landfall at about midnight and is now lying north-west off Beira," said Jan Vermeulen, senior forecaster at South African Weather service.