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Cyclone Idai death toll in Mozambique may well exceed 1,000 | Coastweek

Intense Tropical Cyclone Idai [left] approaching the Sofala province of Mozambique on 14 March 2019, shortly after reaching its peak intensity. Idai [right] making its second landfall in Mozambique on 15 March. Approximately 129 deaths occurred in Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa from the flooding that preceded Idai's second landfall. At least 84 deaths occurred in Mozambique and 98 in Zimbabwe after Idai made its second landfall. MODIS image captured by NASA’s Aqua satellite - EOSDIS Worldview. and https://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/

Cyclone Idai death toll in Mozambique may well exceed 1,000

by Israel Zefanias MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said on Monday that the death toll from Tropical Cyclone Idai could exceed 1,000.

The National Institute for Disaster Management said Monday more than 84 deaths have officially been recorded since the landfall of Idai on Thursday night, bringing torrential rains and devastating winds.

However, Nyusi said the situation could be much more serious in his speech addressed to the nation, after flying over the disaster-hit areas to conduct inspection on Sunday.

"Everything indicates that we may register more than 1000 deaths," said Nyusi, adding that the cyclone has left the region without drinking water, communications and it has affected the normal functioning of hospitals, schools and other public and private institutions.

"The water of the Pungue and Buzi rivers overflowed, making villages disappear and isolating communities," said the president. "Bodies are floating. It is a real humanitarian disaster with great proportions."

Nyusi said the government’s concern and priority were to save people’s lives without excuses.

According to the president, the Defense and Security Forces are on the ground to help with the searches, and air resources including helicopters and airplanes were mobilized to Beira, one of the worst-affected cities, to ensure rapid humanitarian assistance.

The disaster has forced the ruling party Frelimo to postpone its central committee meeting to elect the candidate for the October presidential election, which was scheduled for Friday.

"We hope that the government session tomorrow in Beira will make decisions that meet the needs of the people, in order to mitigate the impact and decide the following processes," he said.
.

UPDATE:

Cyclone Idai "worst humanitarian crisis in
Mozambique’s history": Red Cross official

GENEVA (Xinhua) -- A International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) official Tuesday described damage caused for 1.7 million people in the path of Tropical Cyclone Idai as the worst humanitarian crisis in Mozambique’s history.

IFRC spokesperson Matthew Cochrane said at a UN press briefing here that rescuers are scrambling to pull people trapped on rooftops and in trees to safety in the port city of Beira with a population of more than half a million.

He cited Jamie LeSueur, who is leading IFRC response efforts in Beira saying, "This is the worst humanitarian crisis in Mozambique’s history. It is a humanitarian catastrophe for the people of Central Mozambique."

UN agencies such as the World Food Program (WFP) and the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, along with the IFRC appealed for immediate international funding to support those with no access to food or clean water in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.

Herve Verhoosel, senior spokesperson for the UN World Food Program (WFP) quoted Mozambique government estimates that 600,000 people have been affected by floods in the aftermath of Cyclone IDAI in the country’s provinces of Sofala, Manica, Zambézia, Inhambane, and Tete.

"Preliminary WFP satellite-derived projections indicate at-least 1.7 million people were in the direct path of the cyclone in Mozambique, and 920,000 people were affected in Malawi," said Verhoosel.

"Thousands more are potentially impacted by events in Zimbabwe where assessments are ongoing."

Lola Castro, WFP Regional Director for Southern Africa, said in a phone interview with reporters in Geneva, "People visible from the air may be the lucky ones, and the top priority now is to rescue as many as possible and ferry them to safety."

Cyclone Idai death toll in Mozambique may well exceed 1,000 | Coastweek

CHIMANIMANI Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Farmers check their crop after the area was hit by cyclone Idai in Chimanimani, Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe. At least 31 people have been confirmed dead while dozens of others are still missing as tropical cyclone Idai wreaks havoc in southeastern Zimbabwe, the government said Saturday evening. XINHUA PHOTOS - SHAUN JUSA

EARLIER REPORTS:

At least 79 killed in Cyclone Idai’s ravage of southern Africa: United Nations

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- United Nations and other humanitarian agencies are tallying deaths—at least 79 -- and damage Cyclone Idai inflicted on Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, a UN spokesman said on Monday.

"Our humanitarian colleagues report that, in Mozambique, widespread damage is reported in Beira City, with at least 48 reportedly killed," Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told reporters at a regular briefing.

Another 31 deaths and more than 100 people were reported missing in Zimbabwe, the UN said.

"In Malawi, it has affected more than 183,000 people, while 9,600 people in Zimbabwe have been impacted due to flooding and landslides," the spokesman said. "The UN and our humanitarian partners are supporting the government-led relief efforts in the respective countries."

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported, "The city of Beira, in Sofala Province of central Mozambique, lost communication. The full impact of the cyclone is yet to be established."

"Initial reports indicate loss of life and significant damage to infrastructure in Beira and surrounding areas," it said.

Beira, the fourth-largest city in Mozambique, has a population estimated at around 500,000 people.

"Cyclone Idai continued across land as a tropical storm and hit eastern Zimbabwe with heavy rains and strong winds," OCHA said. "The storm caused high winds and heavy precipitation in Chimanimani and Chipinge districts causing riverine and flash flooding and subsequent deaths, destruction of livelihoods and properties.
.

Cyclone Idai claims more than 122 lives in Malawi, Mozambique: UN

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- Tropical cyclone Idai, whose winds and rain have ravaged parts of Malawi and Mozambique for days, has claimed at least 122 lives and affected more than 1 million people, a UN spokesman said on Thursday.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that flooding caused by Idai "has affected more than 1 million people and caused at least 122 deaths in both Mozambique and Malawi."

The cyclone regained intensity and its center was expected to make landfall in central Mozambique on Thursday evening and was forecast to bring "strong tropical winds, heavy rains and a storm surge to several areas over the next three days," Dujarric said.

"OCHA says that close to 83,000 people are displaced in Malawi, more than 17,000 in Mozambique," he said. "Rapid needs assessments continue in the hardest-hit areas, with Malawian and Mozambican governments leading the humanitarian responses in their respective countries, supported by partners."

Forecasters said the cyclone first formed as a tropical depression on March 4.

Cyclone Idai death toll in Mozambique may well exceed 1,000 | Coastweek

BLANTYRE Malawi (Xinhua) -- Maize fields are immersed in flood water in southern Malawi. Twenty-three people have been confirmed dead in 13 southern Malawi districts following severe flooding resulting from heavy rains accompanied by strong winds. XINHUA PHOTO - KENNETH JALI

Zimbabwe counts losses as death toll from Cyclone
Idai floods rises to 70, hundreds missing

by Zhang Yuliang, Tichaona Chifamba HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe is starting to count the losses as the death toll caused by Cyclone Idai-induced floods hit 70 across three provinces, while access to the most affected areas in southeastern Zimbabwe remains curtailed.

Manicaland Province has so far recorded 65 deaths while Masvingo and Mashonaland East provinces have recorded four and one respectively.

Hundreds if others are still missing amid fears that the body count will rise further.

The most severely affected area is Chimanimani district where most of the deaths have occurred, followed by Chipinge district in Manicaland Province.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo told state media Herald newspaper that the 65 deaths in Manicaland were caused by drowning and injuries sustained during mudslides.

"We will continue with efforts to reach Chimanimani.

"Our army engineers as well as their counterparts from the Ministry of Transport are with us to help clear the way.

"We want to ensure that we reach the ground and render all the necessary assistance," he said Sunday night during a tour of some of the affected areas.

Moyo confirmed that an international appeal for assistance had been made and some local well-wishers were already providing help.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had left the country on an official visit to the United Arab Emirates on Friday, just a few hours before the tropical cyclone hit the country, has had to cut short the trip and turned to the country on Monday.

The Meteorological Services Department has forecast sunny breaks starting Monday as the cyclone continues to lose intensity as it heads towards Malawi.

Roads and bridges have been severely damaged while thousands of people have been left homeless after their homes collapsed in the driving rains and floods.

Communication is difficult in some areas and anxious relatives are trying to reach their loved ones through the less damaged roads, but increased traffic is now slowing down relief efforts.

The government is now appealing to the relatives to stop driving into the affected areas until the victims have been attended to by the Civil Protection Unit.

"The Civil Protection Unit wants to appeal to the general public to avoid visiting the cyclone ravaged Chimanimani and Chipinge areas.

"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.

Government ministers are touring the affected areas and hope that army engineers will quickly clear the roads that are littered with debris.

The clearer weather as the rains subside has also enabled the Air Force of Zimbabwe to fly its helicopters to affected areas and airlift the injured for medical treatment, the government said.

However, some areas continue to be engulfed in mist, thereby slowing down rescue efforts.

Churches across the country are also appealing to their congregants to help in cash or kind, while the corporate world has also chipped in with food, blankets and clothing.

Nearly 200 pupils and their teachers at St Charles Luwanga School in Chipinge, who had been stranded since Friday, were rescued Sunday.

The school is mourning the death of two pupils following a rockfall which hit their dormitory while they slept on Friday.

The United Nations team in Zimbabwe has also joined the government and other partners in providing relief to about 8,000 people affected by the cyclone.
.

60 dead, nearly 843,000 affected by heavy rains in Malawi and Mozambique: UN

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- Relief efforts are underway in southern Africa after recent rains caused at least 60 deaths and affected nearly 843,000 people in Mozambique and Malawi, a UN spokesman said on Wednesday.

"Our humanitarian colleagues report that flooding in Malawi and Mozambique has affected nearly 843,000 people and caused at least 60 deaths, according to preliminary reports from the respective governments," said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"Both the Malawian and Mozambican governments are leading humanitarian responses," Dujarric said.

"The Malawian government has appealed for support with emergency relief items, including tents, foods, medicines and helicopters for rescue operations and delivery of assistance," he said.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said a humanitarian response, search and rescue efforts and rapid needs assessments are underway in Malawi, the spokesman told reporters during a regular briefing.

In Mozambique, flooding has affected more than 103,000 people, and the government there and humanitarian partners are providing assistance to affected people.

Some 739,800 people in Malawi have been affected by the four days of heavy rains, OCHA said.

Tropical cyclone Idai is expected to hit Malawi and Mozambique in the next few days, raising the likelihood of additional flooding, OCHA warned.

Early warning messages to all vulnerable communities in Malawi have urged people to move to high grounds, avoid crossing flooding rivers, and not to seek shelter under trees or weak infrastructure, OCHA said.
.

FURTHER READING:

Cyclone Idai: Mozambique’s president has described
Idai’s aftermath as "real disaster of great proportions"

Tropical Cyclone Idai 'strongest tropical cyclone' to strike Mozambique since
Jokwe in 2008 and  deadliest tropical cyclone worldwide in 2019 as of March

             

 

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