Zimbabwe counts losses as
death toll from Cyclone
Idai floods rises to 70, hundreds missing
by Zhang Yuliang, Tichaona Chifamba
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe
is starting to count the losses as the death toll caused by
Cyclone Idai-induced floods hit 70 across three provinces, while
access to the most affected areas in southeastern Zimbabwe
Manicaland Province has so far recorded 65 deaths while
Masvingo and Mashonaland East provinces have recorded four and
Hundreds if others are still missing amid fears that the body
count will rise further.
The most severely affected area is Chimanimani district where
most of the deaths have occurred, followed by Chipinge district
in Manicaland Province.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister
July Moyo told state media Herald newspaper that the 65 deaths
in Manicaland were caused by drowning and injuries sustained
"We will continue with efforts to reach Chimanimani.
"Our army engineers as well as their counterparts from the
Ministry of Transport are with us to help clear the way.
"We want to ensure that we reach the ground and render all
the necessary assistance," he said Sunday night during a tour of
some of the affected areas.
Moyo confirmed that an international appeal for assistance
had been made and some local well-wishers were already providing
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.
The Meteorological Services Department has forecast sunny
breaks starting Monday as the cyclone continues to lose
intensity as it heads towards Malawi.
Roads and bridges have been severely damaged while thousands
of people have been left homeless after their homes collapsed in
the driving rains and floods.
Communication is difficult 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
The government is now appealing to the relatives to stop
driving into the affected areas until the victims have been
attended to by the Civil Protection Unit.
"The Civil Protection Unit wants to appeal to the general
public to avoid visiting the cyclone ravaged Chimanimani and
"Increased traffic is causing road congestion that is
disturbing the transportation of relief supplies and slowing
down rescue efforts," a notice tweeted by the Ministry of
Information, Media and Publicity said Monday.
Government ministers are touring the affected areas and hope
that army engineers will quickly clear the roads that are
littered with debris.
The clearer weather as the rains subside has also enabled the
Air Force of Zimbabwe to fly its helicopters to affected areas
and airlift the injured for medical treatment, the government
However, some areas continue to be engulfed in mist, thereby
slowing down rescue efforts.
Churches across the country are also appealing to their
congregants to help in cash or kind, while the corporate world
has also chipped in with food, blankets and clothing.
Nearly 200 pupils and their teachers at St Charles Luwanga
School in Chipinge, who had been stranded since Friday, were
The school is mourning the death of two pupils following a
rockfall which hit their dormitory while they slept on Friday.
The United Nations team in Zimbabwe has also joined the
government and other partners in providing relief to about 8,000
people affected by the cyclone.
60 dead, nearly 843,000
affected by heavy rains in Malawi and Mozambique: UN
UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) --
Relief efforts are underway in southern Africa after recent
rains caused at least 60 deaths and affected nearly 843,000
people in Mozambique and Malawi, a UN spokesman said on
"Our humanitarian colleagues report that flooding in Malawi
and Mozambique has affected nearly 843,000 people and caused at
least 60 deaths, according to preliminary reports from the
respective governments," said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
"Both the Malawian and Mozambican governments are leading
humanitarian responses," Dujarric said.
"The Malawian government has appealed for support with
emergency relief items, including tents, foods, medicines and
helicopters for rescue operations and delivery of assistance,"
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
said a humanitarian response, search and rescue efforts and
rapid needs assessments are underway in Malawi, the spokesman
told reporters during a regular briefing.
In Mozambique, flooding has affected more than 103,000
people, and the government there and humanitarian partners are
providing assistance to affected people.
Some 739,800 people in Malawi have been affected by the four
days of heavy rains, OCHA said.
Tropical cyclone Idai is expected to hit Malawi and
Mozambique in the next few days, raising the likelihood of
additional flooding, OCHA warned.
Early warning messages to all vulnerable communities in
Malawi have urged people to move to high grounds, avoid crossing
flooding rivers, and not to seek shelter under trees or weak
infrastructure, OCHA said.
Cyclone Idai: Mozambique’s president has
Idai’s aftermath as "real disaster of great
Tropical Cyclone Idai 'strongest tropical
cyclone' to strike Mozambique since
Jokwe in 2008 and deadliest tropical
cyclone worldwide in 2019 as of March