At least 24 dead as Cyclone Idai hits eastern Zimbabwe

At least 24 dead as Cyclone Idai hits eastern Zimbabwe

At least 24 dead as Cyclone Idai hits eastern Zimbabwe

Senior forecaster Jan Vermeulen said: "Cyclone Idai made landfall at about midnight and is now lying north-west off Beira".

The United Nations said more than 100 people had already died in weeks of heavy rain and flooding in Mozambique and Malawi.

In their response, humanitarian agencies want to focus on providing education, health, WASH, food security, protection for the vulnerable who include women and children, and nutrition.

At least 31 people have been killed and dozens are missing as tropical cyclone Idai hit eastern parts of Zimbabwe after lashing neighbouring Mozambique, the government said on Saturday.

Parts of Mozambique were cut off on Friday as a tropical storm battered the coast and the major port city of Beira with heavy rain and winds of up to up 170kph.

The surge could submerge thousands of homes and businesses, and potentially displace more than 1,000 residents, the Post reports.

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

Jacob Mafume, a spokesman of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), warned in a tweet that a "serious humanitarian crisis" is unfolding in the region.

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Joshua Sacco, an MP in Zimbabwe's Chimanimani district, told the French news agency AFP that most of the fatalities were from Chimanimani East.

"At least 25 houses were swept away following a mudslide at Ngangu township in Chimanimani urban".

Zimbabwe's information ministry said the town of Chimanimani had been cut from the rest of Manicaland province.

She said the cyclone which is likely to make land fall in Zambia from 15th - 20th March 2019, will be characterised by high velocity winds, heavy rainfall storms may result in flash and localized floods and debris. Roads were flooded and the airport was shut down.

Beira's worldwide airport was closed after the cyclone made landfall, damaging the air traffic control tower, the navigation systems and the runways.

"Some runway lights were damaged, the navigation system is damaged, the control tower antennas and the control tower itself are all damaged", an official at the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) told AFP on Friday.

The storm damaged a Mozambican transmission line to South Africa, cutting supplies by 900 MW and worsening an electricity shortage in SA.

South Africa's military has sent in aircraft and 10 medical personnel to help in Mozambique and Malawi, it said in a statement Saturday.

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