Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Cyclone Idai wreaks havoc in Zim

Cyclone Idai wreaks havoc in Zim

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

Tropical cyclone Idai wrought havoc in eastern Zimbabwe after first battering neighbouring Mozambique - where it killed at least 19 people and left half a million people in Beira, one of the largest cities, cut off from the world.

At least 31 people have died in Chimanimani, Manicaland province, as inclement weather conditions occasioned with Cylone Idai continue to affect Zimbabwe, the government has said. "There were people inside", he told the AFP news agency, saying they were listed as missing.

The ministry of information said the Zimbabwean national army was leading the rescue efforts.

"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.

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Jacob Mafume, a spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said a "serious humanitarian crisis [was] unfolding" in the east of the country.

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.

Among the casualties were two pupils and a security officer from St Charles Lwanga High School, and 10 victims from Ngangu Township in Chimanimani, which was the most affected.

Malawi has also been affected by the natural disaster, where 56 lives were claimed by aggressively heavy rains earlier this week.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared a State of Disaster in respect to areas in Manicaland province that were affected by Cyclone Idia, which has claimed 31 lives and displaced 200 people, majority in Chimanimani and Chipinge.

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In February 2000, Cyclone Eline hit Mozambique when it was already devastated by its worst floods in three decades.

"The situation is dire but we don't know the exact particulars", said Jamie LeSueur, the Red Cross's roving emergency operations manager for Africa. Roads were flooded and the airport was shut down.

"Some runway lights were damaged, the navigation system is damaged, the control tower antennas and the control tower itself are all damaged", an official at the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) told AFP on Friday.

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.

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

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