At least 24 dead, over 100 missing in Zimbabwe after cyclone

17 March, 2019, 09:41 | Author: Wade Massey
  • At least 24 dead, over 100 missing in Zimbabwe after cyclone

Power utility Electricidade de Mocambique said in a statement that the provinces of Manica, Sofala and parts of Inhambane have been without power since Thursday.

The boarding school has been shut and the army, which is leading rescue operations, is moving in to take the almost 200 students to safety.

The Mozambican television channel TVM reported that at least five people had been seriously injured.

Others who fled their homes were "marooned" on top of a mountain waiting to be rescued, but strong winds were hampering helicopter flights, the ministry said.

The United Nations said more than 100 people had already died in weeks of heavy rain and flooding in Mozambique and Malawi, where villages were left underwater and floods washed away houses and knocked out power in some areas. "There were people inside", he told AFP, saying they were listed as missing.

"The information we have so far is that over 100 people are missing and some of them" may have died, Joshua Sacco, a member of parliament in Chimanimani district, told AFP.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change called for immediate help for the storm-hit east, warning that a "serious humanitarian crisis" was unfolding there.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has since declared the tragedy caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai a state of disaster.

Destruction in 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.

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

She said the cyclone which is likely to make land fall in Zambia from 15th - 20th March 2019, will be characterised by high velocity winds, heavy rainfall storms may result in flash and localized floods and debris.

"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. Roads were flooded and the airport was shut down.

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) of Mozambique told AFP on Friday "there is extreme havoc".

"The runway is full of obstacles and parked aircrafts are damaged".

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