World News

Mozambique Braces for 'Worst Case Scenario' as Cyclone Idai Makes Landfall

Mozambique Braces for 'Worst Case Scenario' as Cyclone Idai Makes Landfall

The cyclone that has been tearing across Mozambique this past week, Cyclone Idai, has now hit parts of Zimbabwe and is causing further destruction.

Hundreds more were missing Sunday, while tens of thousands were cut off from roads and telephones in mainly poor, rural areas.

First reports from the central Mozambican city of Beira suggest that Tropical Cyclone Idai destroyed and damaged homes and knocked out electricity and communications.

"Everything is destroyed. Our priority now is to save human lives", Correia said at Beira global airport, which re-opened Sunday after the storm caused it to be temporarily closed.

The storm damaged many houses and washed away bridges in the eastern Manicaland province which borders Mozambique.

Mozambican authorities have issued a red alert regarding Tropical Cyclone Idai and humanitarian response is ongoing in Malawi and Mozambique.

"It's bad and there's potential for it to get even worse", he said as rain continued in Zimbabwe, "which could potentially lead to another flood", said in Beira.

In Zimbabwe's eastern Chimanimani district, soldiers on Sunday helped rescue 200 students and staff from a school that was cut off by floodwaters and mud.

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Power utility Electricidade de Mocambique said in a statement that the provinces of Manica, Sofala and parts of Inhambane have been without power since Thursday. Cyclone Idai is predicted to be the strongest to make landfall in Mozambique since Eline.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa last night declared areas already hit or are likely to be hit by the heavy rains a state of disaster.

Vehicles move through heavy rain in southern Malawi as Cyclone Adai arrived Friday.

Rescue and relief operations are underway.

Rescue efforts were hampered by flash floods and bridges that had been destroyed, Kutadzaushe says.

Government spokesman Nick Mangwana said the dead included two school students who were among dozens of children trapped in a dormitory after rocks fell from a nearby mountain. In Zimbabwe, the country's information ministry put the death toll from flooding at 31.

Michael Milton of the U.N. World Food Programme said: "Twenty tons of biscuits will arrive in the country shortly for immediate assistance to stranded communities, by boat and helicopter".


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