Mozambique president fears up to 1 000 deaths after Cyclone Idai

People await rescue on a roof in Beira Mozambique

People await rescue on a roof in Beira Mozambique

Speaking on state Radio Mozambique, President Filipe Nyusi said that while the official death toll stood at 84, "It appears that we can register more than 1,000 deaths".

Idai first made landfall on Mozambique's central coast on Thursday night, cutting off more than half a million people in the Indian Ocean port city of Beira.

Cyclone Idai has been the deadliest tropical storm since Cyclone Eline which resulted in the deaths of 91 people.

Stressing that death toll could rise in the coming days, Sacco said: "We are anxious about an area called Copper where Rusitu and Nyahode Rivers meet and that's where the whole police camp and several government houses were swept away".

"We expect that some of the zone will have hard or no access at all", Mr. Verhoosel said, noting that rising water levels on the Zambezi river will affect the many villages and small cities that line its banks and which rely on it for trade and transport. "It is a real disaster of great proportions".

The National Directorate of Water Resources is recommending people in flood-prone areas to evacuate to higher ground immediately.

The Red Cross called the cyclone "massive and horrifying" as whole surrounding villages disappeared.

The IFRC warned that the death toll could rise once the full scale of the devastation is known, and that further heavy rain is expected.

School students walk past a mudslide, March 17, 2019, covering a major road at Skyline junction in Chimanimani, Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe, after Cyclone Idai hit the country.

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He said most of the deaths occurred in the Ngangu township situated in a valley in Chimanimani town, where more than 100 houses were washed away.

"Almost everything is destroyed". "All roads are cut, the infrastructure is destroyed", Correia said.

The BBC's Nomsa Maseko says the devastation caused by the cyclone has affected thousands of people and shocked Zimbabweans.

However, LeSueur noted, aid workers and government officials are still working to access the damage: "Beira has been severely battered".

LeSueur said a large dam broke over the weekend, and buried the last road into the area.

More than 215 people are confirmed dead from the storm in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Many families now lack basic supplies like food and water, with the situation likely to get even worse as flood waters rise.

Cyclone Idai is believed to be the most destructive storm to hit the impoverished southeastern African country in more than 10 years. Cyclone Idai barreled across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe with flash floods and ferocious winds, killing people and destroying homes.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had left the country on an official visit to the United Arab Emirates on Friday, just a few hours before the tropical cyclone hit the country, has had to cut short the trip and turned to the country on Monday.

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