Cyclone Idai: Africa Cyclone claims 700 lives, more damage ahead, says UN

March 24, 2019 2:50 PM |

floods in South Africa

On Saturday, Mozambique recorded several deaths due to a severe cyclone and floods around South Africa, that have claimed 732 lives and left thousands helpless.

In wake of severe Cyclone Idai, the Mozambican port city of Beira, experienced strong gusty winds, up to 170 km per hour during the last week. The cyclone further devastated Zimbabwe and Malawi, thereby dislocating population and damaging several homes.

Land and Environment Minister Celso Correia said, “Mozambique's death toll increased to 417 from 242”

He informed a group of reporters, “We are taking the situation under control. Still critical, but it's getting better”.

Also read: Severe Cyclone Trevor makes its second landfall, Veronica next

The recent data has revealed that the storm has killed 259 people in Zimbabwe, followed by 56 in Malawi due to heavy rains that occurred as a result of the cyclone.

Governments and aid agencies are rushing in help. The survivors in all the three countries are in search of shelter, food and water.

Mimi Manuel, a 26-year-old mother of four who lost her house and was sitting on the floor of a makeshift shelter in a primary school in Beira when this all happened, told, “We don’t know where to take our children. All our food is wet. We don’t have anything to lose now”.

Another survivor Dina Fiegado, 18, while narrating how sheet rooves blew off and rough walls collapsed in the sea-edge community of Praia Nova, said, “People suddenly started screaming.” Some people tried to escape, while other preferred to stay at home. The community recorded the death of 50 people in total.

The minister of Mozambican informed that around 1,500 people were in search of immediate rescue measures from rooftops and trees. We are taking in use helicopters and boats to look after people’s safety.

“We can foresee more flooding coming up due to heavy rains in the low-lying areas of Beira”, warns the United Nations' humanitarian office. “Nearby dams are all filled up with water, which might burst the Buzi and Pungwe rivers again”, the office informs further.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) coordinator Sebastian Rhodes Stampa, said, “We have to wait for some more time and allow flood water to recede. Then only we can get an idea about the complete loss of lives.”

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