Cyclone in southeast Africa kills almost 150 people
19 March, 2019, 09:26 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
Cyclone Idai could prove to be the deadliest storm in generations to hit the impoverished southeast African country of 30 million people.
Speaking to state-owned Radio Mozambique on Monday, President Filipe Nyusi said the death toll may surpass 1,000 people in his country alone.
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"The waters of the Pungue and Buzi rivers overflowed, making whole villages disappear and isolating communities, and bodies are floating", Nyusi said, according to The Associated Press. Mozambique's environment minister said the disaster could be the nation's worst.
With Beira's airport closed, the Red Cross team drove from Mozambique's capital Maputo before taking a helicopter for the last part of the journey because roads into Beira have been flooded.
Beira was at the centre of the storm, and when it hit, "authorities were forced to close the global airport in the port city of Beira after the air traffic control tower, the navigation systems and the runways were damaged by the storm".
"The situation is awful".
The IFRC warned that the death toll could rise once the full scale of the devastation is known, and that further heavy rain is expected. "It seems that 90 per cent of the area is completely destroyed".
Cyclone Idai batters Zimbabwe, at least 24 people dead
UNICEF is working with partners to support the Governments of the affected countries to provide life-saving interventions to meet the needs of children and women impacted by the cyclone and floods.
Cyclone Idai is now moving further west, potentially impacting hundreds of thousands more poeple.
The charity's Jamie LeSueur said: 'Almost everything is destroyed. Vast areas of land have been flooded, communications disrupted and roads destroyed as the cyclone batters southern Africa.
Farmers in the affected areas said that massive losses have been recorded as agricultural fields have been inundated, destroying crop plantations.
'Beira has been severely battered. It cut off more than 500,000 residents in the port city of Beira, one the country's largest cities.
Cyclone Idai first hit the Mozambican city Beira on Thursday, March 15, with high-winds measuring up to 177 km/h, but first responders were only able to reach the port city until Sunday.
Chamisa visited Nyanyadzi and Chipinge were he also appealed for more donations to the victims of Cyclone Idai which also affected Mozambique and Malawi. At least 31 deaths have been reported and over 100 people are missing in Zimbabwe.
President Mnangagwa cut short his business trip to Dubai and returned home yesterday to direct operations to deal with the effects of the cyclone, while senior Government officials have been in Chimanimani, the most affected area, to oversee operations on the ground. "Increased traffic is causing road congestion that is disturbing the transportation of relief supplies and slowing down rescue efforts", a notice tweeted by the Ministry of Information, Media and Publicity said Monday. The Zimbabwean government declared a state of national disaster.
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