Cyclone Idai Devastates Southern Africa

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Cyclone Idai Devastates Southern Africa

Postby toucana on March 19th, 2019, 11:34 pm 

Flooding near Beira Mozambique

Tropical Cyclone Idai has triggered a massive disaster in southern Africa affecting thousands if not millions of people the UN has said. The storm and tidal surge has caused flooding up to six metres deep across a large tract of Mozambique.

The cyclone which is reported to have been one of the worst weather events of its type ever to hit the southern hemisphere made landfall in the Sofala province of Mozambique with wind speeds of up to 177km/h (106 mph).

Almost 90% of the coastal city of Beira (which happens to be a twinned city with my home town of Bristol UK) is reported to have been destroyed. Beira is a coastal gateway port city on the junction of the Pungwe River and the Indian Ocean. It has a population of over half a million.

Large numbers of people are reported to be sheltering on the roofs of damaged houses with flood waters still rising. Many casualties were caused by flying sheets of metal blown off these roofs by high winds when the cyclone made land-fall. Hundreds have been injured and even decapitated by these flying metal sheets according to news agency reports.

Mozambique's government said 100,000 people needed to be urgently rescued near Beira.

An aerial survey of the province showed that a 50km (30 mile) stretch of land was under water after the Buzi river burst its banks, charity Save The Children said.

Floods of up to six metres deep had caused "incredible devastation" over a huge area in Mozambique, World Food Programme regional chief Lola Castro said.

At least 1.7 million people were in the direct path of the cyclone in Mozambique and 920,000 have been affected in Malawi, the UN said.

In Zimbabwe, at least 20,000 houses have been partially damaged in the south-eastern town of Chipinge, 600 others were completely destroyed.
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