Cyclone Idai: Over 1,000 feared dead, Indian Navy sends 3 ships for immediate help

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 19 March 2019, 10:30 AM
More than 1,000 people are feared dead in a devastating cyclone that hit Mozambique on Friday (Photo: Twitter)
More than 1,000 people are feared dead in a devastating cyclone that hit Mozambique on Friday (Photo: Twitter)

More than 1,000 people are feared dead in a devastating cyclone that hit Mozambique on Friday, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has said. "For the moment we have registered 84 deaths officially, but when we flew over the area ... this morning to understand what's going on, everything indicates that we could register more than 1,000 deaths," he said in a nationwide address. He cited a body floating in the water as he flew over.

“India has decided to divert three Indian Naval Ships (INS Sujatha, INS Shardul and INS Sarathi) to the port city of Beira in Mozambique to provide immediate Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) to the affected people hit by tropical cyclone,” Indian Navy Spokesperson said in a Tweet.

The storm destroyed “90 percent” of Beira, a city of about a half-million people that is Mozambique’s fourth largest and faces the Indian Ocean, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said on Monday.

At least 215 people have been confirmed dead and hundreds are missing across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe from Tropical Cyclone Idai, according to government agencies and the Red Cross, which said 1.5 million people had been affected. "This is a real humanitarian disaster," he said as he estimated that "more than 100,000 people are in danger".

Aerial photographs released by a Christian non-profit organisation Mission Aviation Fellowship, showed groups of people stuck on roof tops with flood waters up to window level.

"Almost everything is destroyed. Communication lines have been completely cut, and roads have been destroyed. Some affected communities are not accessible," LeSueur, who is heading the organization's investigations into the damage, said in a statement.

Local authorities and humanitarian aid organisations have warned that the biggest threat now are floods as dams are full and rivers have burst their banks.

Nyusi said more than 400 people were rescued from flooded areas on Monday.

"The number of Zimbabweans that we have lost at the present count is 89," government spokesman Nick Mangwana told reporters at a briefing on Monday, adding that engineers were working to get medication and food supplies to those affected.

First Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 10:26 AM
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