Earlier on Thursday, News24 reported that a major cyclone was expected to make landfall in Mozambique in the evening, bringing with it high wind speeds and rain.
Flooding in Malawi and Mozambique had affected almost 843,000 people and caused at least 60 deaths as of 11 March, according to preliminary reports from the respective Governments.
According to recent report from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA), the death toll from the floods and heavy rains has risen to 45 and over 577 injured and over 90,000 households affected.
"But more importantly, only if a call is made by the Mozambican Government for urgent assistance", the organisation's founder, Imtiaz Sooliman, said. More than a million people have already been directly affected by the disaster. Not only this, over 168 000 hectares of crops have been destroyed in Mozambique alone. Gusts of winds estimated to be over 250km hour are set to lash the coastline with an expected rainfall of 300 - 350mls.
"Sixteen accommodation centres have been opened in the provinces of Zambezia and Tete to accommodate the displaced", Comoana said. It is calling for a devastating 10- to 14-foot storm surge, with destructive waves and surf that could propel water even higher.
"The government has decreed a red alert due to the continuing rains and the approach of the tropical cyclone Idai, expected to reach the country between Thursday to Friday", said cabinet spokeswoman Ana Comoana. Flood water and food which has been in contact with flood water is not safe.
Authorities have ordered the compulsory evacuation of people living in flood-prone areas. The cyclone was located over the Mozambique Channel on 12 March and is expected to strengthen into intense tropical cyclone status (Category 4 equivalent) again prior to making landfall. The latest projections indicate that Idai may then turn back east and re-enter the Mozambique Channel, potentially going on to impact southern Madagascar.