Cyclone Idai hits Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, killing nearly 150

Cyclone Idai hits Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, killing nearly 150

Cyclone Idai hits Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, killing nearly 150

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

At least 24 people have been killed and dozens are missing in parts of eastern Zimbabwe after the country was hit by tropical cyclone Idai which lashed neighbouring Mozambique and Malawi, the government said.

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 information we have so far is that over 100 people are missing and some of them" may have died, Joshua Sacco, a member of parliament in Chimanimani district, told AFP.

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.

The Manicaland province of Zimbabwe, which boarders Mozambique, has been heavily affected, with many bridges and other structures having washed away from the natural disaster, IOL reported.

Local officials in Mozambique said that heavy rains earlier in the week, before the cyclone struck, had already claimed another 66 lives, injured scores and displaced 17 000 people.

Among the casualties were two pupils and a security officer from St Charles Lwanga High School, and 10 victims from Ngangu Township in Chimanimani, which was the most affected.

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

In February 2000, Cyclone Eline hit Mozambique when it was already devastated by its worst floods in three decades.

As the cyclone approached, the Red Cross sent out more than 200 volunteers to areas most likely to be affected.

It would require "the full force of the humanitarian community behind the government of Mozambique to respond to rapidly", he told AFP.

An official at the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) told AFP earlier that "houses and trees were destroyed and pylons downed".

Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi said the damage is "very worrisome" and said the flooding made it hard for aircraft to land and carry out rescue operations, according to Mozambique's state radio.

South Africa's power utility company Eskom on Saturday introduced severe electricity rationing "due to the loss of additional capacity, which includes a reduction in imports from Mozambique", it said in a statement.

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