Cyclone Idai puts hundreds of thousands at risk in Mozambique
Cyclone IDAI hit the coast of Mozambique overnight on Thursday. The city of Beira, with a population of more than 500,000, was directly affected by winds of 180 to 190 km/h accompanied by torrential rains.
ARCHIVE IMAGE : floodings in Mozambique in January 2000. | © HI
The death toll and the extent of the destruction were not yet known this Friday afternoon, as communication lines and electricity have been cut off and large areas remain inaccessible.
The United Nations expects considerable damage to homes and schools, the destruction of hundreds of thousands of hectares of crops, which will lead to food shortages among the most vulnerable populations, and problems accessing isolated areas due to flooding and damaged roads. The risk of disease outbreaks is also considered to be high, with the presence of unsafe water.
HI already works with the most vulnerable populations in the affected city, Beira, and we are concerned for our beneficiaries and their families. We are currently putting our emergency plans into action, and will reinforce the team with emergency expertise in the coming days.
This cyclone adds to an existing critical situation in Mozambique. The centre and north of the country have been subjected to heavy rains for several weeks: more than 140,000 people have already been affected, with 17,000 displaced, and at least 60 killed.