Updated: 3/27/2019 10:05:23 AM
The fears of waterborne diseases became a reality on Wednesday as Mozambique confirmed five cases of cholera around the badly damaged port city of Beira.
“We did the lab tests and can confirm that these five people tested positive for cholera,” Ussein Isse, a senior Mozambican health official, told reporters. “It will spread. When you have one case, you have to expect more cases in the community.”
Health workers were also battling 2,700 cases of acute watery diarrhoea – which could be a symptom of cholera – Isse said, adding the government had organised a treatment centre for cholera in Beira hospital.
The World Health Organization is dispatching 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine to affected areas from a global stockpile. The shipment is expected to be sent later this week.
Updated: 3/25/2019 8:58:56 AM
Mozambique’s death toll rose to 446 from 417, a government official told Reuters Sunday. U.N. agencies suggested 259 people died from the cyclone in Zimbabwe and another 56 in Malawi.
President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe told his country during a service at the Methodist Church in Mabelreign, Harare on Sunday that the death toll was rising and could reach 200. "Some citizens were swept away to Mozambique and because of the decomposing state of their bodies, we have agreed that they be buried in Mozambique. Some could have been washed away to the ocean," he said according to 24 News.
Updated: 3/25/2019 2:12:24 AM
In Mozambique the number of dead has risen to 446, with 259 dead in Zimbabwe and at least 56 dead in Malawi. All numbers for deaths are still preliminary, said Mozambique’s environment minister, Celso Correia. As flood waters recede and more bodies are discovered, the final death toll in Mozambique alone could be above the early estimate of 1,000 made by the country’s president a few days after the cyclone hit, said aid workers.
Nearly 110,000 people are now in camps more than a week after Cyclone Idai hit, said Correia, the Mozambican government’s emergency coordinator. As efforts to rescue people trapped by the floods wind down, aid workers across the region are bracing for the spread of disease, including cholera and malaria.
Updated: 3/24/2019 3:27:55 AM
Mozambique reported scores more deaths on Saturday from a cyclone and floods around southern Africa that have killed at least 732 people and left thousands in desperate need of help, many on rooftops and trees. Mozambique's death toll rose to 417 from 242, Land and Environment Minister Celso Correia said. The storm has also killed 259 in Zimbabwe, while in Malawi 56 people died in heavy rains ahead of the cyclone. In all three countries, survivors have been digging through rubble to search for victims, and scrambling for shelter, food and water, while governments and aid agencies rush in help.
Updated: 3/23/2019 4:53:17 AM
The storm has so far killed 557 people across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, but the death toll is expected to rise. Aid workers are slowly delivering relief but conditions are said to be extremely difficult, with some areas completely inaccessible and a scarcity of helicopters.
"There is growing concern among aid groups on the ground of potential disease outbreaks," the IFRC statement said. "Already, some cholera cases have been reported in Beira along with an increasing number of malaria infections among people trapped by the flooding." Cholera, which is endemic in Mozambique, is spread by water contaminated by sewage, and can kill within hours if left untreated.
Black First Land First (BLF) said in a statement on Friday: "BLF holds that the destroyers of the ecological balance, through Greenhouse gas emissions, must pay for the catastrophe that is caused by their gluttonous cultures and civilization of death. The multitudes that died as a result of the cyclone are not victims of a natural disaster. This is mass murder which could be prevented if the West abandoned its ways."
Updated: 3/22/2019 4:28:19 AM
The current death toll is 557 while the number of injured remains unknown. More than one week on from the storm's initial impact, the United Nations has confirmed 242 dead in Mozambique, with 259 lives lost in Zimbabwe and 56 in Malawi.
As many as "300 to 400" bodies line the banks of a road out of the city of Beira, in Mozambique, according to an eyewitness account, suggesting that the human toll of Cyclone Idai is likely to far exceed official estimates.
On Monday, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said that "everything indicates that we can have a record of more than 1,000 dead" -- a figure that some experts now believe could be conservative.
Updated: 3/20/2019 2:56:53 AM
This Tuesday, according to the AFP, Philip Nyusi asked all those living near rivers to leave the area "to save their lives," adding that the authorities could have no choice but to open the dams, as there is a risk of collapse.
A voice message is circulating among the Portuguese community that the Zimbabwe dams will be opened and calling for immediate evacuation. Mozambican PM made similar alert.
A voice message from a Portuguese woman - whose identity has not yet confirmed - which highlight intention to open the dams of neighboring countries of Mozambique, is circular among the Portuguese community. Alert is made to all those living in the Beira region to evacuate women, children and elderly people from the area due to the danger of new floods and flood wave that the opening of the floodgates may produce. The author of the message guarantees that the information is official and that it was confirmed by the Portuguese embassy in Mozambique, having "spoken directly to the ambassador." The author of the message also says that the ambassador of Portugal in Maputo have asked "for the Portuguese community of Beira not to panic" and will have to say in the city, crossed by the river Púnguè, "as the city will not be affected directly by this first wave". Still, he will have suggested "that people be on their guard and take the necessary precautions. Stay alert. I fear the worst", concludes the Portuguese ambassador.
Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique asked all those living near rivers to leave the area "to save their lives," adding that the authorities could have no choice but to open the dams, as there is a risk of collapse .
Updated: 3/19/2019 3:49:25 PM
Cyclone Idai's pass into Mozambique. Malawi and Zimbabwe has already caused more than 400 deaths, according to interim reports issued by the respective governments since Monday. More than 1.5 million people were affected by the storm in those three African countries, according to www.jn.pt.
In Zimbabwe , the authorities have counted at least a hundred deaths , while admitting that the death toll may reach 300. There are also 217 missing persons , as well as about 1,600 houses and 8,000 people affected in the district of Chimanimani in Manicaland.
In Malawi , government estimates point to at least 56 deaths and 577 injuries , with more than 920,000 people affected in the 14 districts affected by the cyclone, including 460,000 children.
Many people who have climbed the roofs are being hit by objects, especially metal plates, which are flying through the air. " There are metal plates flying and decapitating people.
Updated: 3/19/2019 2:38:50 PM
"This is shaping up to be one of the worst weather-related disasters ever to hit the southern hemisphere," Clare Nullis, from the UN's weather agency, told the BBC on Tuesday. Christian Lindmeier from the UN's World Health Organization, said: "We need all the logistical support that we can get."
Some rescuers said homes and even bodies were washed away in the rivers to neighbouring Mozambique, the BBC's Shingai Nyoka reports. 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. Many aid trucks are stuck on the impassable roads and unable to reach their destinations. The conditions have also limited air operations.
The Red Cross has warned there could be an outbreak of waterborne diseases, including cholera, due to the expected contamination of the water supply and disruption of usual water treatment.
Updated: 3/19/2019 4:29:55 AM
While varying government figures currently put the death toll at around 200 people in the three countries, Mozambique President Filip Nyusi warned the death toll in his country alone could rise to more than 1.000. Up to 90% of Beira, Mozambique's fourth largest city, was reportedly destroyed. The Red Cross called the cyclone "massive and horrifying" as whole surrounding villages disappeared.
According to the World Food Programme (WFP), at least 1.7 million people were affected in the direct-path of the cyclone in Mozambique, with a further 920,000 in Malawi.
Updated: 3/19/2019 2:16:08 AM
While the number of confirmed deaths in Mozambique is 84 as of March 18, authorities say it could surpass 1 000 as search and rescue operations continue. Speaking on Radio Mocambique, President Filipe Nyusi said he had flown over the affected region, where two rivers had overflowed. "Villages had disappeared and bodies were floating in the water. Everything indicates that we can register more than one thousand deaths," he said. Most of the deaths were reported in the coastal city of Beira (population 534 000) which is 90% destroyed, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Updated: 3/18/2019 3:07:14 AM
Authorities in Mozambique said the toll there had risen to 62 in the centre of the country, while Zimbabwe said 65 people were killed in affected eastern areas, after the cyclone tore across the region on Friday and Saturday. “I think this is the biggest natural disaster Mozambique has ever faced. Everything is destroyed. Our priority now is to save human lives,” said Mozambique’s environment Minister Celso Correia.Two pupils at a secondary school in the area were among those killed, after a landslide sent a boulder crashing into their dormitory, the country’s civil protection agency said. Soldiers on Sunday helped rescue nearly 200 pupils, teachers and staff who had been trapped at the school in Chimanimani. The United Nations in Zimbabwe said that nearly 10,000 were affected by the cyclone.
Updated: 3/16/2019 4:07:38 AM
The cyclone Idai with wind speeds up to 170 km/h dropped heavy rain on the Beira region, killed at least one person and injured five (preliminary reports). Idai became the deadliest weather disaster of the year anywhere in the world prior to landfall, with at least 122 people killed (66 in Mozambique and 56 in Malawi), thousands of homes destroyed and nearly 1 million affected.
Published Thursday, March 14, 2019
The death toll from the floods produced by extremely dangerous Tropical Cyclone "Idai" rose to 63 and the number of affected people to nearly 1 million on March 13, 2019.
Heavy rain has also affected South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal, claiming lives of at least 3 people. Idai is an extremely dangerous cyclone expected to make landfall near Beira, Mozambique with maximum sustained winds between 180 and 200 km/h.
45 people have died and 577 injured after heavy rains and floods started affecting Malawi last week, officials reported March 13. 739 790 people were affected and 15 185 households displaced.
187 temporary camps have been set up by the Government of Malawi in the affected districts. Damage assessments, search and rescue operations and aid distribution are still ongoing.
The Government of Mozambique reported 15 casualties on March 12, 4 in Zambezia and 11 in Tete Province.
Cyclone Idai Facts
Affected Area: 500 km.
Alert Level: Orange