Cyclone Idai, which is carrying winds of up to 225 km/h (140 mph), is making landfall near the port of Beira. The city of Beira, in the coast of central Mozambique, has been without electricity since late afternoon, when rain
and wind intensified as cyclone Idai arrived.
A storm surge of at least six metres (20 feet) is expected near low-lying Beira, a city of 500,000 people, Météo France said. Heavy rains have already killed about 100 people in Mozambique and Malawi.
Beira is the fourth largest city in Mozambique and its major port sits on the mouth of the Pungwe river, that runs to Zimbabwe.
Authorities urged the population to remain sheltered, as the Mozambican National Institute of Meteorology (INAM)
predicts that the cyclone will cause winds which may reach 200 kilometres per hour, accompanied by heavy rain, severe thunderstorms and sea waves. reaching to 10 metres.
The storm is expected to intensify tonight during the night and early morning tomorrow. On Friday, Idai is expected to grind towards the provinces of Sofala and Manica, moving west and losing intensity.
The cyclone should only dissipate over Zimbabwe on Saturday.
According to Météo France, which monitors French territories in the Indian Ocean, said Idai was "an extremely dangerous tropical cyclone" packing a "life-threatening" storm surge of at least four metres along the coast, and six metres near the mouth of the Pungwe river near Beira.
The surge could be even higher because of high tide, Météo France warned. The cyclone's late change of course meant that "the worst case scenario is very likely", it added.
Extremely dangerous Tropical Cyclone Idai is barrelling towards Central Mozambique with imminent landfall near the port city of Beira. This storm has already tr