The cyclone was generating winds of up to 95 kilometres an hour on Thursday evening and was becoming stronger and more dangerous.
By Saturday, the cyclone will be influencing the weather in the south of the country. INAM expects heavy rains (over 75 mm in 24 hours), and winds in coastal areas of up to 70 kilometres an hour.
A more alarming picture is painted by the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC). The course it projects for the cyclone sees it making landfall in Gaza province on Sunday. 24 hours later the eye of the storm is predicted to be over Maputo.
By Sunday, the JTWC forecasts that wind speeds at the centre of Irina will have reached 140 kilometres an hour – much more damaging than the INAM prediction.
Irina formed in the north of the Mozambique Channel and initially it moved very slowly, hugging the western coast of Madagascar. It has now picked up speed and is moving across the channel at the rate of 13 knots (24 kilometres an hour), generating waves that are up to six metres high.
Irina comes in the wake of two other major storm systems, tropical depression Dando and cyclone Funso, which hit Mozambique in January. The government estimates that the torrential rains and localized flooding led to the loss of 42,000 hectares of crops.Post published in: Africa News