The Death Toll in Southern African Countries Hit by Cyclone Idai has Increased
At least 1000 Mozambicans and more than 150 Zimbabweans and Malawians have lost their lives.
Tropical cyclone Idai has claimed the lives of many with even more people still missing. Violent winds and powerful floods have destroyed vast areas, cut off communication and wiped out roads in many parts of the Southern African countries affected.
Mozambique and Malawi, geographically low-lying areas, are prone to deadly floods particularly after heavy rains. Speaking about the death toll on Monday, the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, said that everything pointed towards the country having to "register more than one thousand deaths". Beira, which is Mozambique's fourth largest city has been hardest hit after one of its dams burst, further complicating rescue efforts.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa deployed the military to assist Mozambique with rescue efforts.
In Zimbabwe, Chimanimani district has been cut off from the rest of the country and at least 98 people have lost their lives with an additional 200 people feared missing. It seems Zimbabwe just can't catch a break. From a persistent drought that has wilted and destroyed crucial crops, deadly protests following crippling fuel hikes to an economy barely able to keep afloat, there seems to be no reprieve for Zimbabweans.
The Zimbabwean government is said to have released 18 million USD to rebuild roads, provide water and sanitation as well as restore communication lines and electricity.
UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori said:
"Cyclone Idai underlines that no matter how effective early warnings are, there is still a huge demand for greater investment in resilient infrastructure in many parts of the world if we are to break the cycle of disaster-response-recovery."
Death tolls are expected to rise as more bodies are recovered.