Published: Tue, March 19, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Cyclone Idai believed to have killed over a thousand in Mozambique

Cyclone Idai believed to have killed over a thousand in Mozambique

Cyclone Idai may have killed a 1,000 people in Mozambique, President Filipe Nyusi said, and 100,000 more are still at risk.

Speaking on state Radio Mozambique, Nyusi said that even though the official death count in his country stood at 84, "It appears that we can register more than 1,000 deaths".

Cyclone Idai tore into the centre of Mozambique on Thursday night before barreling on to neighbouring Zimbabwe, bringing flash floods and ferocious winds, and washing away roads and houses.

But giving a weather update, director of Climate Change and Meteorological Services Jolamu Nkhokwe said the change in direction of the Tropical Cyclone Idai was triggered by low pressure systems from South Africa which made it to slide southwards in place of the original northwards track.

"Waters from the rivers Pungue and Buzi have broken their banks, wiping out entire villages, isolating communities and we could see, as we flew above, bodies floating", the Mozambican President said.

Zimbabwe's permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information, Nick Mangwana said Mr. Mnangagwa, who had been criticized for flying out of the country in the face of a crisis, is expected to tackle the rain disaster.

The National Directorate of Water Resources is recommending people in flood-prone areas to evacuate to higher ground immediately.

TS Tirumurti tweeted, "In response to a request from Mozambique hit by tropical cyclone causing loss of lives and damage, India has diverted 3 Indian Naval Ships to port city of Beira to provide immediate Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief of food, clothes and medical help to affected people". "It seems that 90 per cent of the area is completely destroyed".

Mozambique cyclone kills dozens, cuts power to SA

A man looks at a washed away bridge along Umvumvu river following Cyclone Idai that also hit Chimanimani, Zimbabwe.

"Almost everything is destroyed", LeSueur added. Vast areas of land have been flooded, communications disrupted and roads destroyed as the cyclone batters southern Africa.

However, LeSueur noted, aid workers and government officials are still working to access the damage: "Beira has been severely battered".

The city's airport was set to open on Sunday as flights began taking off from the capital Maputo bound for Beira.

Chamisa visited Nyanyadzi and Chipinge were he also appealed for more donations to the victims of Cyclone Idai which also affected Mozambique and Malawi.

"This is the worst infrastructural damage we have ever had", Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza said.

The presidents of Mozambique and Zimbabwe cut short their overseas trips to deal with the aftermath of the cyclone.

The eastern part of the country remains vulnerable to heavy rains and floods and has in the past been affected by cyclones Eline and Dineo in 2000 and in 2017, respectively.

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