Over a period of 2 weeks, the long living tropical system IDAI hit large parts of South East Africa. At the beginning it was only the precursors of a tropical cyclone that caused major flooding in Malawi. Some days later, over the warm waters of the Mozambique Channel, the system went through all stages of development and finally became a full-grown tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 195 kph and gusts of 280 kph. Shortly after peak intensity, IDAI fell ashore in Mozambique a few kilometers north of the city of Beira in the night from 14 to 15 March 2019.
A slow propagation speed, a destructive storm surge, heavy winds and enormous precipitation led to extensive damage and flooding. And even the remnants of the weakening tropical system caused further floods and landslides far inland in the east of Zimbabwe.
A total of around 3 million people were affected by IDAI and its impacts. IDAI claimed several hundred lives and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless and displaced across the region. For Mozambique, IDAI could even become the most devastating and deadliest tropical cyclone in history.