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Mozambique: Cyclone Heading Straight for Maputo
Devastation of Cyclone
Maputo — The latest projected course for Cyclone Irina, currently in the middle of the Mozambique Channel, is that it will make landfall, not on the coasts of either Inhambane or Gaza provinces, as earlier forecast, but in Maputo.
The latest warning from the US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC), on Friday afternoon, showed the cyclone diverting further south from its original course. It is still likely to bring high winds and heavy rains to Inhambane and Gaza, but the current forecast is that the centre of the storm will make landfall at around midday on Sunday, at the Machangulo peninsula, very close to Maputo City.
On this projection, the storm will then continue right over the Mozambican capital, across Maputo province and into Swaziland.
The cyclone has picked up speed, and is now moving towards Maputo at 17 knots (31 kilometres per hour).
The changing forecast of the cyclone's course means that the warning given earlier in the day by the government' s National Operational Emergency Centre (CENOE), that Irina was likely to hit the coast between Inhambane city and Zavala district, is already out of date.
CENOE said that Inhambane and the neighbouring city of Maxixe were at "high risk" from the cyclone, whereas Maputo city and province were at "low risk" - a forecast that will probably have to be revised drastically.
The National Meteorology Institute (INAM) has warned of heavy seas and high winds in the southern part of the Mozambique Channel, advising all shipping in the region to take precautionary measures.
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