Tropical storm affects Mozambique

News and Press Release
Originally published
MAPUTO, Feb 3, 2004 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The tropical storm "Elita", that returned to the Mozambique Channel on Monday, affected four Mozambican coastal provinces, local media reported Tuesday.

The Mozambique's National Meteorology Institute (INAM) has upgraded "Elita" to the category of a "severe tropical storm", and has warned that conditions for shipping in the central and northern parts of the Mozambique Channel are unsafe while the storm lasts.

Winds of up to 130 kilometers per hour have been generated by the storm.

The greater part of the Mozambican coast, from Nampula in the north to Inhambane in the south, was suffering the effects of the storm.

"Elita" had come inland last Thursday, rampaging across Nampula province, causing considerable damage to housing.

At the weekend, "Elita" changed direction and headed back into the Mozambique Channel, where it intensified.

INAM urged residents of Nampula, Zambezia, Sofala, and Inhambane provinces to be on the alert because of strong winds and moderate rain, accompanied by thunder.

INAM also warned that the storm may cause serious damage to houses, particularly those built of flimsy materials, and also to crops such as cashew and coconut trees in these provinces.