March 15 (UPI) -- A cyclone equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane left dozens dead and more than 500,000 without power in Mozambique after it arrived late Thursday.
The World Meteorological Organization said that although the storm is now weakening, it has affected "tens of thousands" of people living there as heavy rain is expected to pelt the country over the next several days. The organization said there were "[d]ozens of casualties."
Cyclone Idai landed north of Beira, Mozambique's fourth largest city. It was the second time the storm hit land there, as it landed as a tropical depression last week before moving out to sea and strengthening.
The WMO said the storm packed winds of 103 mph and there was fear that it could hit Beira at the same time as high tide, which would worsen the flooding situation there.
Hundreds were left stranded at Mozambique's Maputo International Airport when the country's national airline carrier LAM canceled all of its lights to Beira and Quelimane on Wednesday.
Some passengers said, though, that they were unaware of the cancellations until they arrived at the airport attempting to leave.