Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi has announced that his Government has declared a national state of emergency. In addition, three days of national mourning apply from Wednesday, March 20, 2019 to commemorate the victims of the Cyclone “Idai” which was followed by devastating floods in the centre of the country.
The President’s announcement followed a Cabinet meeting he chaired from the storm-stricken port city of Beira on Tuesday afternoon. A city with around 500,000 inhabitants, Beira has had no electricity, running water and telecommunications since the deadly storm made land fall last Thursday, and large parts of the city and surrounding areas are flooded.
The death toll from the cyclone has risen to 200, according to the President, who added that at least 350,000 people are still at risk and in need of immediate assistance.
With the forecasts estimating that flood water could rise up to 8 meters (26 feet) in the coming days, as continuing to rain in Mozambique and he neighboring countries, the President said: “We are in an extremely difficult situation.”
Humanitarian partners have rapidly mobilized aid workers and vital supplies to support the Government-led response to the impact of the cyclone. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) alongside other UN agencies, NGOs and other partners are supporting the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC) in providing assistance to affected people. UNDP is also assessing the situation for early recovery and support reconstruction efforts following the cyclone.
The cyclone “Idai” with the strength of four out of five was taken in the night of Friday, with wind gusts of up to 160 kilometers per hour from the Indian Ocean at Beira on the central region of country. Storm surges and massive flooding followed. In the hinterland of Beira, the river level increase due to continuing rain.