United Nations seeks Sh4bn as cyclone hits southern Africa

United Nations seeks Sh4bn as cyclone hits southern Africa

Nearly 850 000 people have been affected by severe rains and flooding caused by cyclone Idai, a tropical cyclone that hit the Mozambican port of Beira on Thursday night.

Pictures and video on social media showed roofs torn off buildings and extensive flooding strong enough to sweep along a large vehicle.

It is not yet clear how many people have lost their lives since the storm hit, although on 13 March, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that flooding had killed at least 122 people in Mozambique, where 66 are reported to have died, and Malawi, where the death-toll stands at 56.

Roads have been swallowed by massive sinkholes, while bridges were ripped to pieces by the flash floods, according to the AFP photographer.

The boarding school was shut as the army, which is leading rescue operations, moved in to take the almost 200 students to safety.

The cyclone has already left a trail of destruction in the neighbouring countries of Mozambique and Malawi where scores have been injured, property destroyed and many more displaced by the heavy rains and wind speeds of up to 170km/h.

Nine people who escaped from the bus which was swept away near the Skyline Area are said to be marooned on a nearby mountain.

News that President Mnangagwa has shortened his visit to the United Arab Emirates to deal with the ramifications of cyclone Idai has raised so much criticism from Zimbabweans from all walks of life who are asking why he had gone to the Arab nation knowing that Zimbabwe was at Risk. "All roads are cut, the infrastructure is destroyed", Correia said.

Authorities were forced to close Beira worldwide airport after the air traffic control tower, the navigation systems and the runways were damaged by the storm.

Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi said the damage is "very worrisome" and said that the flooding made it hard for aircraft to land and carry out rescue operations, according to Mozambique's state radio.

Despite having part of its roof torn off, Beira airport was busy handling flights and relief agencies have are setting up operation hubs there.

At least 126 people were killed by the downpour that has struck parts of Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa over the past week, officials said. Many families now lack basic supplies like food and water, with the situation likely to get even worse as flood waters rise. "I don't know what I will find there", he said.

Weather experts feared the cyclone which brings heavy rains and high winds could have resulted in more flooding particularly in the lower Shire River districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje which are now recovering from last week's floods.

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