Cyclone Idai kills at least 89 in Zimbabwe

Cyclone Idai kills at least 89 in Zimbabwe

Cyclone Idai recently ripped through several southern Africa countries including Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique, CNN reports.

The death toll in Mozambique following tropical cyclone Idai could reach 1,000, the country's president said on Monday.

Responding to a question that the country was ill prepared for the disaster Chamisa said the country was not caught unaware but was ill prepared.

More than 215 people have been killed by the storm according to official figures in the three countries, hundreds more are missing and more than 1.5 million people have been affected, according to the Red Cross and government officials.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said that about 90 percent of Beira was destroyed in the storm. On Sunday, a dam burst cutting off the last road to the city, which aid workers are now struggling to reach.

Communication is hard in some areas and anxious relatives are trying to reach their loved ones through the less damaged roads, but increased traffic is now slowing down relief efforts. "The scale of devastation is enormous", said Jamie LeSueur, who is leading IFRC's assessment team in the city. It has taken several days for the scope of the disaster in impoverished Mozambique to become clear.

Mozambique won independence from Portugal in 1975 and then was plagued by a long-running civil war that ended in 1992.

Cylone Idai has caused destruction on such a large scale because of that poverty and lack of infrastructure.

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An AFP journalist on a flight to Beira said most passengers were going to check on their families who they haven't heard from since the cyclone hit. No new numbers had been released following the cyclone's arrival in the country.

At least 126 people were killed in Mozambique and Malawi, while Zimbabwe counts 89 deaths.

The information ministry says 217 are reported missing, 102 are injured while 42 are marooned. The information has not been verified by CNN.

President Filipe Nyusi said he flew over the affected region where two rivers had overflowed. The official death toll is 84 in Mozambique, and the storm is blamed for the deaths of about 200 people across southeastern Africa.

Marc Nosbach, the charity's director in Mozambique, said: 'Roads to the areas hit by the cyclone have been completely blocked by fallen trees and rubble. The country is in poor shape to withstand the financial impact of a disaster: Zimbabwe is now in the grip of a deep economic crisis.

Zimbabwe's president (who is now out of the country on an "official State visit" to the United Arab Emirates) declared a State of Disaster in terms of the country's laws. Bridges were swept away, and power and communication lines in the area have been cut off.

Speaking to state Radio Mozambique, Nyusi said Monday that although the official death count is now 84, he believes the toll will be more than 1,000.

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