Mozambique’s land and environment minister Celso Correia said on Monday the number of people in makeshift camps after a powerful cyclone in Mozambique has risen by 18,000 to 128,000 but the death toll remains roughly unchanged at 447.
Death toll and camps
“The loss of lives remains the same as yesterday,” Correia said. “The number of people saved in INGC (National Institute of Disaster Management) camps has increased to 128,000,” Correia told reporters at a briefing.
Ruins of blown away homes
There has been a lot of damage. Many homes have been left without roofs.
Cyclone Idai lashed the Mozambican port city of Beira with winds of up to 170 kph (105 mph), then moved inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi, flattening buildings and killing at least 656 people across the three countries.
Food and shelter
The situation in the port city of Beira in Mozambique was “boiling” as residents suffered shortages of food, water and other essentials one week after a devastating cyclone, the head of a South African rescue operation said on Friday.
Cyclone Idai battered Beira, a low-lying city of 500,000 residents, with strong winds and torrential rains last week, before moving inland to neighbouring Zimbabwe and Malawi.
In Mozambique, 242 were killed in the storm and resulting floods, according to the official death toll, although this is expected to rise. In Malawi, around 56 were killed while Zimbabwe has recorded 142 deaths.
Around 15,000 people were still missing in Mozambique, Land and Environment Minister Celso Correia said late on Thursday. The government is expected to give a briefing on Friday morning to update the number of people missing and dead.
Briefing his team late on Thursday night, Connor Hartnady, rescue operations task force leader for Rescue South Africa, said Beira residents were becoming fed up with shortages.
“There have been three security incidents today, all food related,” he told his team, without giving further details.
Cartnady also said a group of 60 people had been discovered trapped by flood water in an area north of Beira during a reconnaissance flight. Rescue teams and the government were deciding how best to help them, he said, either by airlifting them to safety or dropping supplies.
The storm’s torrential rains caused the Buzi and Pungwe rivers, whose mouths are in the Beira area, to burst their banks.
Roads into Beira were cut off by the storm, and most of the city remains without power. The Red Cross has estimated 90 percent of the city was damaged or destroyed in the storm.
Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Information said at least 30 students, two headmasters and a teacher from three schools were missing in the eastern region of the country.
In the capital Harare there were shortages of diesel, leading to long queues following reports earlier this week that a control room for the pipeline in Beira that transports fuel to Zimbabwe had been damaged.
Aid organisations and other countries
The United Nations children’s fund, UNICEF, estimated that 260,000 children were at risk from the devastation, and the World Food Programme said it was trying to reach 500,000 people with immediate food assistance.
The EU, Britain and United Arab Emirates have donated millions of dollars of aid each to Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe for emergency shelters, hygiene, sanitation and healthcare. Portugal is sending 35 soldiers and a team from the country’s National Republican Guard, its foreign minister said.
U.S. energy firm ExxonMobil, which is working on developing giant gas deposits off northern Mozambique, said it would donate $300,000 to relief efforts.
South Africa and UNICEF were among the first to start a fund raiser aimed at gathering public support for humanitarian efforts. All three affected countries have called for assistance to contain the crisis.
The European Union has meanwhile released 3.5 million euros in emergency aid for the three countries. The breakdown of the funds are as follows:
- Mozambique = 2 million euros
- Zimbabwe = 1 million euros
- Malawi = 500,000 euros
€3.5 million in EU emergency aid following cyclone Idai and deadly floods
The #Tanzanian Government has provided over 214 tonnes of food and 24 tons of medical supplies to #Zimbabwe, #Mozambique and #Malawi in response to the #CycloneIdai humanitarian crisis.
Caroline Haga, a senior International Federation of the Red Cross official who is in Beira, said the situation could be far worse in the surrounding areas, which remained completely cut off by road and where houses were not as sturdy.
Nyusi flew over areas that were otherwise accessible, and some of which had been hit by flooding before Cyclone Idai.
Author: Gesture Chidhanguro