Mozambique: Malawi, Mozambique Send SOS to SA

More than a thousand people are feared to have died in a cyclone that smashed into Mozambique, while scores were killed and more than 200 are missing in neighboring Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Malawi and Mozambique have requested assistance from the South African government following destruction caused by Cyclone Idai in the two neighbouring countries.

The cyclone, which has already claimed 10 lives in Mozambique, comes with the warning of dangerously high seas; extreme flooding; strong, damaging winds; storm surges and significant rainfall.

Idai is expected to weaken into an overland depression on Friday but is still expected to result in significant and torrential rainfall and widespread flooding over the Sofala and Manica provinces of Mozambique.

South Africa has, through President Cyril Ramaphosa, received humanitarian and search and rescue requests from his counterparts in Malawi and Mozambique.

A light aircraft has been dispatched with a team of specialists to Malawi to establish the exact humanitarian assistance required.

"South Africa remains committed to offer whatever assistance within its capacity to SADC member states," Cabinet said in a statement on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Cabinet has extended its appreciation for the support from NGOs, who have joined forces with government in dispatching aid during the recent floods experienced in some parts of the country.

"In minimising the impact of the recent flash floods in KwaZulu-Natal, government continues to provide aid and support to affected families. Disaster teams and officials are assessing the damage.

"Cabinet urges the public to exercise extreme caution during storms and heavy weather, and not attempt to cross flooded roads, bridges and rivers," Cabinet said.

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