Cyclone Idai: Many dead in Zimbabwe and Mozambique

'Dozens of casualties' as Cyclone Idai hits Mozambique

An image shared on Twitter on March 15, 2019 by Ms Anouk Delafortrie after Cyclone Idai made landfall in city of Beira, Mozambique.

Authorities in Mozambique said heavy rains before the cyclone struck had already claimed the lives of 66 people, and displaced a further 17,000.

In their response, humanitarian agencies want to focus on providing education, health, WASH, food security, protection for the vulnerable who include women and children, and nutrition.

Tens of thousands of people, primarily in impoverished rural areas, have been cut off from roads and telephones.

Tropical cyclone Idai battered central Mozambique on Friday, killing at least 19 people there and cutting off more than half a million in Beira, one of the country's largest cities.

Some 40 people are missing.

Heavy downpours in neighbouring Malawi this week have affected nearly a million people and claimed 56 lives there, according to the latest government toll.

Zimbabwe's information ministry said the worst of the storm hit the mountainous Chimanimani region, some 350 kilometers (217 miles) southeast of the capital, Harare.

Destruction in Mozambique
Cyclone Idai: DEADLY Cyclone Idai strikes central Mozambique - How many have died?

Earlier Saturday, Joshua Sacco, an MP in Chimanimani district, told AFP that more than 100 people were missing.

The cyclone hit Mozambique with winds of up to 177km/h (106 mph).

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change spokesman Jacob Mafume tweeted that a "serious humanitarian crisis (is) unfolding" in eastern Zimbabwe districts. Around 100 houses had been swept away in Ngangu township in Chimanimani town, he said. "There were people inside", he told the AFP news agency, saying they were listed as missing.

Hundreds were left stranded at Mozambique's Maputo International Airport when the country's national airline carrier LAM canceled all of its lights to Beira and Quelimane on Wednesday.

Authorities were forced to close Beira global airport after the air traffic control tower, the navigation systems and the runways were damaged by the storm.

An official at the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) of Mozambique told AFP on Friday "there is extreme havoc".

Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi said the damage is "very worrisome" and said the flooding made it hard for aircraft to land and carry out rescue operations, according to Mozambique's state radio.

The storm also affected power supplies to neighbouring South Africa which imports electricity from Mozambique to supplement its own production.

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