Cyclone Idai devastates 90% of Mozambique’s 4th largest city Beira; 1,000 may have died
Maputo, March 19: Cyclones devastating human settlements are not something new to learn about but what happened in south-eastern Africa recently is indeed terrifying. Ninety per cent of a city in Mozambique called Beira was reportedly "destroyed" by Cyclone Idai and the fates of more than five lakh people who lived there are not known. Beira is the South-eastern African nation's fourth-largest city.
Cyclone Idai lashed into Mozambique as a high-end Category 2 storm at midnight last Thursday (March 14) and left behind trails of devastation. It then hit the neighbouring countries of Malawi and Zimbabwe, also affecting them.
Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi said in a radio address to the nation on Monday, March 18, that though the official death toll was 84, more than 1,000 could be dead in reality. He said bodies were seen floating after two rivers broke their banks and swept away whatever came on their way and called it a "real humanitarian disaster".
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies described the situation in Beira as "terrible" after conducting an aerial assessment on Monday. Aid workers are now struggling to reach the city after the last road accessing it was cut off in the disaster.
The scale of #CycloneIdai in Beira, Mozambique, is truly heartbreaking. Initial assessments from @ifrc estimate at least 90% of the area is completely destroyed. Read what IFRC aid workers are witnessing in the area: https://t.co/reDWmHKw2W 🎥 @IFRCAfrica pic.twitter.com/25l3kM2vl3— American Red Cross (@RedCross) March 18, 2019
Mozambique, a poor nation with weak infrastructure, experiences tropical cyclones in the fall season. In February 2000, Cyclone Eline had also left a toll on the nation, killing hundreds and displacing several thousands.