Sigh of relief: Cyclone Idai spares hit Zimbabwe

17 March, 2019, 09:42 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Cyclone Idai has ripped through Malawi Mozambique and Zimbabwe leaving an estimated 140 people dead and hundreds more missing

The surge could submerge thousands of homes and businesses, and potentially displace more than 1,000 residents, the Post reports.

Tropical Cyclone Idai has left at least 31 people dead in eastern Zimbabwe, the government said on Saturday, continuing a trail of destruction across southeast Africa.

Joshua Sacco, an MP in Zimbabwe's Chimanimani district, told the French news agency AFP that most of the fatalities were from Chimanimani East.

The Manicaland province of Zimbabwe, which boarders Mozambique, has been heavily affected, with many bridges and other structures having washed away from the natural disaster, IOL reported.

Weather experts feared the cyclone which brings heavy rains and high winds could have resulted in more flooding particularly in the lower Shire River districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje which are now recovering from last week's floods.

"We urge patience as rescue is on its way", Zimbabwe's information ministry said in a tweet, although power cuts and communications breakdown in affected areas means the warning might reach just a few.

Local officials said that this week's heavy rains claimed 66 lives, injured 111 people and displaced 17,000 people.

Thousands have been forced to leave behind their belongings and flee to higher ground as U.N. agencies and the Red Cross attempt to deliver food and medicine
Mozambique cyclone kills dozens, cuts power to SA

They had also affected neighbouring Malawi, where 56 people died and almost a million others were affected, the government said. "There were people inside", he told AFP, saying they were listed as missing. Around 100 houses had been swept away in Ngangu township in Chimanimani town, he said.

"The situation is now dire and we are calling for emergency both locally and internationally", said Madiro, who is also the Zanu-PF provincial chairperson for Manicaland.

A major cyclone the equivalent of a strong Category 2 hurricane approached the coast of Mozambique late Thursday, prompting residents to brace for what weather authorities have called a likely "worst case scenario".

The hardest hit has been Mozambique's central port city of Beira, where the airport is closed, electricity is out and homes have been destroyed.

An official at the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) told AFP earlier that "houses and trees were destroyed and pylons downed".

The storm damaged a Mozambican transmission line to South Africa, cutting supplies by 900 MW and worsening an electricity shortage in SA.

South Africa's military has also sent in aircraft and 10 medical personnel to help in Mozambique and Malawi, it said in a statement.



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