Hundreds are dead, many more missing and thousands at risk from massive flooding in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe caused by Cyclone Idai and persistent rains.

Hundreds are dead, many more missing and thousands at risk from massive flooding in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe caused by Cyclone Idai and persistent rains.

March 19, 2019– Mary Greeley News – Mozambique’s central port city of Beira continues to pick up the pieces days after it was battered by tropical Cyclone Idai.

The cyclone has killed hundreds across three countries: Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, the Associated Press reports. Hundreds more are missing.

Thousands of homes were destroyed, and power was cut off in Beira, home to more than 500,000 people. The city’s main hospital incurred significant damage, the AP also reports.

On Tuesday, government officials and aid agencies scrambled to rescue families still trapped by rising rivers that burst their banks.

After flying over the devastated port city of Beira on Monday, Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi said he thinks the death toll in his country could top 1,000 people.

“…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,” Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said in a nationwide address.

“This is a real humanitarian disaster,” he said. “More than 100,000 people are in danger.”

People were reportedly taking refuge in trees awaiting rescue, Nyusi added, noting that the Pungwe and Buzi rivers in central Mozambique “have burst their banks and engulfed entire villages.”

“Communities are isolated and bodies are floating” on the waters, he said, according to AFP.

Hundreds are dead, many more missing and thousands at risk from massive flooding in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe caused by Cyclone Idai and persistent rains.

Beira was cut off from the rest of the world after Idai made landfall late Thursday as a Category 3 storm, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said Monday. A large dam burst on Sunday, cutting off the last road to Beira, Agence France-Presse reports.

“We’ve never had something of this magnitude before in Mozambique,” said Emma Beaty, coordinator of a grouping of NGOs known as Cosaco, AFP reports. “Some dams have broken, and others have reached full capacity, they’ll very soon open the flood gates. It’s a convergence of flooding, cyclones, dams breaking and making a potential wave: everything’s in place so we get a perfect storm.”

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The scale of the damage to Beira is “massive and horrifying,” said Jamie LeSueur, who led a Red Cross aerial assessment of the city. The team had to view the city by helicopter because roads were flooded, he said.

“The situation is terrible. The scale of devastation is enormous. It seems that 90 percent of the area is completely destroyed,” said LeSueur.

After hitting Beira late Thursday, the cyclone moved westward into Zimbabwe and Malawi, affecting thousands more.

At least 126 people had died in Mozambique and Malawi, according to the AP. In Zimbabwe, 98 people have died from the floods, the country’s information ministry said Monday.

The coastal town of Chinde, about 250 miles northeast of Beira, also incurred significant damage, INGC told news agencies. Villages in the vicinity were also cut off by storm surge.

In Malawi, the government confirmed 56 death and said 577 were injured and three people remained missing, the AP reports.

Images posted to social media show damage to homes, downed trees and roofs ripped from buildings.

Hundreds are dead, many more missing and thousands at risk from massive flooding in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe caused by Cyclone Idai and persistent rains.

Nearly 200 students were trapped in a school in the mountains of Zimbabwe after it was slammed by a mudslide unleashed by Idai, BBC.com reported.

At least two of the students died when rocks from the mudslide knocked down a wall while the students slept, the report added. The Charles Lwanga Secondary School is in eastern Zimbabwe’s Chimanimani district. More than 100 houses also have been damaged in the area, according to Zimbabwe’s information ministry.

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According to Relief Web, the storm damaged schools and medical facilities. The organization also noted that there is a heightened risk of water-borne diseases due to damage to sanitation facilities and unsafe water.”

Before landfall, the system that later formed into Idai produced flooding that killed at least 122 people in Mozambique and Malawi, making it the deadliest weather disaster of 2019.

The initial system killed at least 66 people due to flooding in Mozambique, Agence France-Presse reported. Flooding from that system destroyed more than 5,700 homes and impacted more than 140,000 people in the southern African country.

Mary Greeley News
www.marygreeley.com

Credit : In part with https://weather.com/news/news/2019-03-13-tropical-cyclone-idai-impacts-mozambique-malawi-0