Cyclone Idai: More than 600 confirmed dead, Thousands stranded
Mozambique: The mortal cyclone Idai that struck Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi of southern Africa has reportedly killed more than 600 people while it has left hundreds of thousands stranded and homeless. Multiple cases of cholera were reported as hundreds of thousands of people are scrambling for shelter, food and water after the catastrophic flooding in southern Africa.
Homes, villages and entire towns were submerged across central Mozambique, where flooding created a muddy inland ocean 30 miles (50 kilometres) wide. The U.N. food aid agency said 400,000 people were displaced and “in urgent need of life-saving assistance” in Mozambique’s coastal city of Beira and flooded areas along the Pungue and Buzi rivers.
The persistent rains lifted in some areas on Thursday, and floodwaters began to recede in Beira, the worst-hit city, and in the countryside, according to a Mozambican government report.
Aid agencies are working day and night to rescue the survivors. The survivors have been sheltered in temporary sites.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned of the risk cholera outbreaks, already noting an increase in malaria. “There is growing concern among aid groups on the ground of potential disease outbreaks,” the IFRC statement said. “Already, some cholera cases have been reported in Beira along with an increasing number of malaria infections among people trapped by the flooding.”
“There’s stagnant water, it’s not draining, decomposing bodies, lack of good hygiene and sanitation,” Henrietta Fore, the head of Unicef who is in Mozambique, told AFP news agency.
Cyclone Idai made landfall near Beira with 177km/h (106 mph) winds on 14 March. About 1.7 million people are affected by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, according to UNICEF.