Cyclone Idai takes its toll on Mozambique's communications

Cyclone Idai takes its toll on Mozambique's communications

Reports detail winds of over 60 km/hour as well as heavy rains measuring 200mm in the past 24 hours.

Mozambique's port city of Beira has been cut off from the rest of the country and the world after cyclone Idai downed electricity, communication and telecom services in the city of about 500 000 people.

Banks and retail outlets in Beira remained closed early Friday, a few hours after the cyclone pounded the city.

Pictures of the devastation have been posted on social media and the weather phenomena is expected to affect neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Reuters quoted Jan Vermeulen, a senior forecaster at the South African Weather Service as confirming that communications into-and out of Beira had been cut off.

"We don't have any communications from the area. This is an intense tropical cyclone, and I think there's a lot of damage to infrastructure which is probably responsible for the loss in communications," Vermeulen said.

The Club of Mozambique, a portal for investors seeking opportunities in the southern African country, said in a preliminary report that "communications (had been) cut after Cyclone #Idai lashes Beira" while the "city (had) flooded and infrastructure damaged".

Emergency rescuers from South Africa and from other agencies began arriving in Mozambique today.

They reported winds of over 60 km/hour as well as heavy rains measuring 200mm in the past 24 hours.

Residents of the port city of Beira had been displaced, with many others needing assistance and support.

A tweet from Fazila Assane reads: "Becoming desperate as all my family are there, no news at all from them."