Beira bāy´rä [key], city (1997 pop. 397,368), capital of Sofala province, E central Mozambique, a seaport on the Mozambique Channel (an arm of the Indian Ocean), at the mouths of the Púngoè and Búzi rivers. A commercial center, the city grew (beginning in 1891) as the terminus of a railroad into the interior. Beira has handled the foreign trade of Congo (Kinshasa), Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi as well as of Mozambique, but rail service was interrupted by bombings during the war for Zimbabwean independence in the late 1970s and was ultimately halted as a result of the Mozambique civil war. Rail service has since been restored to parts of Mozambique and to Zimbabwe and connections beyond. In 2019 a tropical cyclone devastated the city.
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