Zimbabwe: Zim Transporters Park Their Trucks As Cyclone Idai Hits Beira

Photo: The Herald
The flooded Odzi River in Zimbabwe.

Chimoio — The movement of cargo between Zimbabwe and port of Beira via Forbes border post is expected to be decrease this week as most transporters have opted to park their trucks in Chimoio as a strong tropical cyclone in a decade is expected to make a landfall in Mozambique at the end of the week, bringing devastating winds and floods to the central coastline.

According to reports, the storm could have devastating impact near Port City of Beira which is used by Zimbabwe to receive its cargo.

The storm, named Idai, is expected to make landfall north of Beira, which is Mozambique's largest port city.

According to AccuWeather, Idai's winds can cause "devastating damage" and potable water and electricity may not be available for days or weeks in the affected areas.

Clearing agents at Forbes border post said business will be low this week as the port is expected to be closed until the situation returns to normal.

"Business will be low this week because of the cyclone. We are expecting to clear few trucks that have already left Beira today to Zimbabwe. The rest will be cleared next week after the situation calms," said a clearing agent who works for a local freight company.

Another customs official said business is most likely going to decline this week as there will be less movement of cargo from the port.

"We will have cargo moving into Mozambique but less coming into the country as the port will be closed because of Cyclone," said the officer who declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the press.

Most truck operators have already instructed their drivers to park in Chimoio until the situation calms in Beira.

"I am crossing into Mozambique in my way to Chimoio but will not proceed to Beira or Inchope. I was instructed to park by my superior which means my stay in Moza will be longer than anticipated," said Mallone Matongo who works for Freight World Cargo Carriers.

Another Mozambican driver Pedro Ali Francisco said they will be parked in Chimoio until Saturday.

Truck drivers who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com in a telephone interview in Beira said the port was temporarily closed as the officials are currently assessing the situation.

"Yes, I can confirm the port has been temporarily closed as the officials are trying to assess the situation. We are just praying that the situation will be calm. No ships docking at the moment," said one driver who is waiting for his truck to load cargo at the port.

Others said they will leave the trucks locked and retreat to Chimoio until the situation calmed down.

According to weather experts, the storm system that became Idai moved over central Mozambique and neighbouring Malawi last week, leaving more than two dozen people dead, before it moved back out to sea.

Warm waters caused it to strengthen rapidly, before it started moving back toward Mozambique's coastline.

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