Mozambique has recently been hit with a massive tropical storm. Cyclone Idai, as it has been dubbed, lashed Mozambique with strong winds and widespread rain. Wind speeds reached in excess of 70km/h, touching landfall near the city in Beira, in the Sofala Province. The storm also touched parts of Zimbabwe and northern parts of South Africa. The storm has claimed the lives of many, with the death toll rising to an estimated 115. According to the United Nations, the storm has affected 1.5 million people.
The storm has had devastating consequences for South Africa as well. Although not deadly, the storm knocked down electricity and phone networks and cut off power to South Africa from a hydropower dam.
Cyclone Idai damaged a Mozambican transmission line to South Africa, in the process cutting supply to the country by a whopping 900MW which immediately worsened the electricity shortage in South Africa. This resulted in Eskom bumping up rotational load shedding from Stage 2 to Stage 4 on Saturday, due to the 900MW loss in supply from Mozambique.
The on-going load-shedding has impacted small and middle businesses negatively, has caused traffic bust ups, even cellphone networks were not spared with many users struggling for signal.
There is good news though! The situation should improve from the public holiday on Thursday and going forward, as the demand begins it’s decline. That, coupled with a shipment of diesel expected to arrive today (19th March, 2019) and should be ready for use in the next few days, should bring some much needed relief to the power grid.