Cyclone Eline Hits Central Mozambique

MAPUTO (Feb. 22) XINHUA - Cyclone Eline hit the central Mozambican province of Sofala early on Tuesday morning, with torrential rain and winds of 50 kilometers an hour, according to the Mozambican Meteorology Office (INAM).

INAM warns that the cyclone is intensifying, and the affected areas should brace themselves for continued heavy rain over the next few days, Mozambique News Agency reported.

Currently the worst effects of the cyclone are along the coast of Sofala, but the impact can also be felt to the south, in Inhambane and Gaza provinces, and further north, in Zambezia.

The rain brought by ElinFurther south, the flood on the Limpopo river continues to worsen. According to the southern regional water board, at the city of Xai-Xai, capital of Gaza province, the height of the river rose from 5.67 to 5.78 metres between Sunday and Monday. Flood alert level at Xai-Xai is 4.3 meters.

The Limpopo flood waters have now come over the top of the Xai-Xai defensive dike in several places, and the water has begun to inundate the commercial heart of the city. The outlying suburbs have been under water for the past week.

Part of Mozambique's main north-south highway which runs through Xai-Xai is now submerged.

Copyright (c) 2000 Comtex Scientific Corporation
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 02/22/2000 10:46:08