During the night to Friday the intense tropical Cyclone Idai has made landfall in Mozambique’s Sofala region close to the city of Beira, causing severe damage with its strong winds and severe flooding
The area that is affected had already seen very intense rainfall and devastating flooding since last week. The soil is saturated and unable to absorb more water.
“Cyclone Idai has now hit a population, which was already in despair and extremely vulnerable. The impact of the storm is multiplying their suffering”, says Marcoluigi Corsi, acting UN Resident Coordinator in Mozambique. An estimated 600,000 people are affected of which 260,000 are children. Thousands are displaced, because their houses are destroyed.
Mr Corsi says that “the situation is serious, and UN and its partners are ready to support the Government to bring urgent life-saving support to the affected population, including clean water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as medical care.”
UNDP is currently collaborating with the national disaster agency and other UN agencies to assess the dimension of the disaster. The biggest problems for humanitarian assistance are now the reestablishment of communication lines in the flooded area of Sofala region, as well as the access of humanitarian teams to the disaster areas.
“Despite all challenges we are well prepared, as we have prepositioned stocks like tarpaulin sheets, hygiene kits and water purification tablets available in the country. These can quickly be delivered and help during the first days.”, says Marcoluigi Corsi who is also UNICEF Representative in the country.
The cyclone, with heavy rains and winds of up to 170 kilometers per hour, hit Beira, Mozambique’s fourth-largest city, on Thursday night, leaving about 500,000 residents without power, water and communications.
Mozambique President, Filipe Nyusi said that more than 100,000 people in the central region of the country were in a life-threatening situation, with entire villages and communities cut off by floods.
The cyclone also brought a wave of destruction to the neighboring countries of Zimbabwe and Malawi.