17 March 2019

Mozambique: Death Toll From Cyclone in Sofala Reaches 68

Photo: Pixabay
Tropical Cyclone (file photo).

Maputo — The latest figures on the damage done by cyclone Idai, which struck central Mozambique on Thursday, indicate that at least 68 people died in the worst hit province, Sofala, and the number of injured is over 500 according to a Sunday report on the independent television station, STV.

The storm has interrupted traffic on the highway from Zimbabwe to the port city of Beira, and disrupted electricity and water supplied and telephone communications.

"The damage resulting from this cyclone is enormous, and we are not yet able to put a figure on it", said the Sofala provincial governor, Alberto Mondlane. He pledged that over the next few days, specialists will be surveying the devastation, and estimating its cost.

Members of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet) are heading these missions to Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia provinces.

"This was a very strong cyclone, and right now the priority is to save lives, make a survey of the material damage, and draw up solutions for the places affected", the Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development, Celso Correia, told STV.

In Tete, the Deputy Health Minister, Joao Leopoldo da Costa, guaranteed that the country has sufficient stocks of medicines to cope with the crisis. "The Ministry of Health has already created the conditions to avoid the worst", he said.

He warned of a surge in malaria after the torrential rains brought by the cyclone "but we are prepared to deal with this sort of situation, as well as outbreaks of other transmissible diseases, which might occur, associated with the fact that people are crammed into small and poorly ventilated spaces".".

With the lessening of the intensity of the winds, air transport has become possible. On Sunday, flights between Beira and the rest of the country resumed after an interruption of three days.

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