cyclone Idai devastated Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe last week and even now the full extent of damages and loss of lives are not known. People had to revise their Travel plans as thousands continue to remain trapped by floodwaters. Humanitarian aid workers are trying to send across bare essentials like food and water to the survivors. Some of them in the port city of Beira are clinging on to rooftops or trees for survival.

Sky News reports Cyclone Idai had struck low-lying coastal areas, and heavy rains can lead to landslides and flash floods. It swept through the region with wind speeds of up to 105 mph and affected lives of more than 2.6 million people.

Zimbabwe environment minister Celso Correia put the number of deaths in Mozambique at 240 while nearly 3,000 are evacuated to safety, and another 15,000 are to be rescued. However, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi puts the death toll at 1,000 and aid workers take this as a conservative estimate.

The condition is pathetic

There is no letup in the torrential rains and Cyclone Idai has wreaked havoc on the basic infrastructure.

With floodwaters continuing to rise, communication links are broken and officials in Zimbabwe have inducted helicopters. These are used to transport aid to communities in the most severely affected area of Chimanimani and to extend medical care to the needy. A volunteer doctor says some of them have head injuries, others have fractures and broken limbs. He cautioned that wounds might heal but many of the survivors may remain permanently scarred mentally by the disaster because of the personal losses suffered.

The Disasters Emergency Committee DEC has confirmed death toll as 480 with another 400,000 rendered homeless and have launched an appeal for funds to help the victims. These figures could rise once the waters recede and the UN feels this could end up as one of the worst weather-related disasters in the southern hemisphere. DEC is involved in raising funds on behalf of 14 UK charities and use the funds to cater to the needs of those affected by a major disaster.

The staggering death toll from Cyclone Idai

According to New Zealand Herald, it is more than a week back that the cyclone struck southern parts of Africa and an overflowing dam in Zimbabwe has become a threat to riverside populations. Death has gone beyond 500 and there could be hundreds more in regions that were completely submerged. Health is a major issue with fears of an outbreak of water-borne diseases.

It will take time to get a realistic picture of the disaster. Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi estimates the loss of at least 1000 lives in his country alone.

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