Cyclone Deneo downgraded after wreaking havoc in Mozambique

2017-02-16 15:36
A category 4 tropical storm has already started showing devastating effects across the provinces of Gaza and Inhambane, Mozambique. (Supplied)

A category 4 tropical storm has already started showing devastating effects across the provinces of Gaza and Inhambane, Mozambique. (Supplied)

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Maputo - Mozambique was battered by high winds, flooding and sea surges when cyclone Dineo made landfall late Wednesday but the storm has begun to die down, according to meteorologists Thursday.

Dineo reached Inhambane, southern Mozambique, between 8:00 pm and midnight on Wednesday, buffeting the town with winds in excess of 100kmh, torrential rain and rough seas, according to the South African Weather Service (SAWS).

Roofs were torn off houses in the path of the storm, electricity supplies were cut and roads flooded and blocked by debris in the popular tourist town, according to local media. No fatalities or injuries were reported.

Dineo was downgraded to a tropical depression by 08:00 on Thursday and renamed "ex-Dineo", according to SAWS, which warned that the weather system could still cause heavy rainfall and flooding as it heads inland toward South Africa.

Mozambique's National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) had earlier issued an alert over the cyclone threat, advising people to prepare food and water supplies and urging vulnerable communities to seek shelter.

Mozambique, one of the world's poorest countries, is often battered by deadly flooding and storms.

In 2000, floods claimed at least 800 lives, and more than 100 were killed in 2015.

Scores have already died in the current rainy season, which began in October.

The high death toll in 2000 triggered significant donations for resettlement projects and improvements to water management infrastructure, early warning systems and emergency response resources.

Read more on:    mozambique  |  southern africa  |  weather

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