Zimbabwe: 'Hundreds Missing' As Cyclone Idai Batters Zimbabwe

Cyclone Cyclone Idai Cyclone Idai Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Cyclone Cyclone in Zimbabwe Mozambique Malawi Cyclone Mozambique Cyclone Idai Indian Express Latest news

At least 19 people died in Mozambique, according to the government, while a further 24 perished in Zimbabwe, state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Since the start of the week, heavy rains and the powerful storm already killed 87 people in neighboring Mozambique and Malawi.

"There has been a lot of damage that we have not yet made the calculation of how much we need to rebuild", said Alberto Mondlane, governor of Mozambique's worst-hit Sofala province, in comments broadcast over state radio late Friday.

"Unfortunately there is extreme havoc", said the official. "They are part of the missing", he said.

"Some runway lights were damaged, the navigation system is damaged, the control tower antennas and the control tower itself are all damaged".

"The runway is full of obstacles and parked aircraft are damaged".

Late on Wednesday, Mozambique's national carrier LAM said it was cancelling all flights to Beira and Quelimane, which is also on the coast, as well as to Chomoio, which is inland.

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Homes, schools, businesses, hospitals and police stations have been destroyed by the cyclone. It cut off more than 500,000 residents in the port city of Beira, one the country's largest cities.

"The Tropical Cyclone is creating a convergence of air from north-east and air from south-west over the country causing locally heavy rainfall activities over the south and northern areas but isolated rains over central areas of the country due to the sinking air from the Tropical Cyclone, as it weakens but makes its way towards Zimbabwe" says Nkhokwe as quoted in the Nation Newspaper.

The World Food Programme (WFP) said it would move 20 tonnes of emergency food aid to the affected areas. In 2000, Cyclone Eline killed 350 people and displaced 650,000 in the wider region.

They also affected neighbouring Malawi, where 56 people died, the government said.

Authorities there have opened emergency relief camps where malaria and shortages of supplies have led to dire conditions, according to AFP correspondents.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is now on a visit to Abu Dhabi, has declared a state of disaster in the affected areas.

"Given this tragic loss of life, the general devastation registered so far and the continuing torrential rains, His Excellency, the President, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, has declared a State of Disaster in respect of the affected areas or areas likely to be affected by Cyclone Idai in terms of Subsection (1) of Section 27 of the Civil Protection Act (Chapter 10:06)", he said.

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