Cyclone Idai: Deadliest Storm In Generations To Hit The Southeast African Country

In a nationwide address on Monday, President Filipe Nyusi feared the Cyclone Idai could have left more than 1000 deaths in Mozambique. “For the moment we have registered 84 deaths officially, but when we flew over the area … this morning to understand what’s going on, everything indicates that we could register more than 1,000 deaths,” he said. This is reported to be one of the deadliest storms in generations to hit the distressed southeast African country with a population of about 30 million people.

Mr. Nyushi described seeing bodies floating on the rivers after he flew over the worst-hit areas. The storm that hit Mozambique last week has brought the total death toll to at least 215 and the storm continued its path on to Zimbabwe and Malawi which brought flash floods and violent winds. Zimbabwe was left with at least 98 people dead and 217 people are missing in the east and south, according to the government. Officials in the capital Maputo told the BBC that more than 1,500 people were injured by falling trees and debris from buildings including zinc roofing.

Beira, the country’s fourth largest city with a population of about 500,000, is reported to have the most number of deaths so far, authorities said. With winds of up to 177 km/h (106 mph), the storm caused landfalls on Thursday near the port city of Beira and aid teams could only reach the city on Sunday. Every building in Beira had been damaged, a UN aid worker told the BBC. The Red Cross and U.N. agencies brought emergency food and medicine by helicopter to the stricken countries.

From the UN’s World Food Programme, Gerald Bourke said, “No building is untouched. There is no power. There is no telecommunications. The streets are littered with fallen electricity lines … The roofs on so many houses have fallen in, likewise the walls. A lot of people in the city have lost their homes.” The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society (IFRC) reported the damage as “massive and horrifying”. The head of the IFRC assessment team, Jamie LeSeur, told the BBC that people have had to be rescued from trees. The UK government said contributions would be made by providing humanitarian aid worth Β£6m ($8m) to Mozambique and Malawi. Tents and thousands of shelter kits would be sent to Mozambique.


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