Flooding fears rise as cyclone strikes Mozambique

Cyclone Favio lashed central Mozambique on Thursday with heavy rains and sustained winds of 200 kilometres per hour, raising fears of further flooding after tens of thousands of people were already forced from their homes.

Cyclone Favio lashed central Mozambique on Thursdaywith heavy rains and sustained winds of 200 kilometres an hour, raising fears of further floodingafter tens of thousands of peoplewere already forced from their homes.

Forecasters say the storm, which has brought gusts of up to 230 km/h,weakened slightly as it made landfall, but is still expected towreak havoc in the regionover the next 12 hours.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center has advised that a second storm, Cyclone Gamede, is churning in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar and threatens to make landfall in the same area of central Mozambique before dawn Friday.

The government hasmoved many of the people in the area to higher ground farther inland.

There is no word yet on any fatalities or injuries.

The area has already been flooded from torrential rains that have drenched central Mozambique since January.

About 30 deaths have been attributed to the flooding; nearly 90,000 people have been forced from their homes.

Officials warned the storm has a stronger magnitude than Cyclone Eline, which killed hundreds and left more than 500,000 people homeless in Mozambique in 2000.

With files from the Associated Press