HARARE – More than 100 people have been killed after a category-4 storm slammed into Zimbabwe, the United Nations said in a report on Wednesday.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Cyclone Idai left more than 200 others injured and over 200 more missing.
These figures were released after the powerful cyclone brought catastrophic winds and flooding to neighboring Mozambique, claiming more than 200 lives in the southern African nation.
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said the death toll could grow exponentially after declaring a state of emergency late on Tuesday.
“We came here with 84 (confirmed deaths), but afterwards on the ground we were seeing that we are already at more than 200. And not only that, but there are also 350,000 citizens in risk situations,” he said following an emergency Cabinet meeting in Beira, Mozambique’s fourth-largest city and a major port.
Meanwhile, Save the Children said over 100,000 Mozambicans were in danger as a consequence of Idai, which wreaked havoc across parts of southern Africa.
“The scale of this disaster is growing by the minute and Save the Children has grave concerns about children and their families still at risk,” the leader of the organization’s response in Mozambique, Machiel Pouw, said on Twitter.
The European commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, Christos Stylianides, has pledged 3.5 million euros ($3.9 million) in emergency relief to the countries affected.
Idai struck Beira six days ago, all but laying waste to the city of more than 500,000 people before moving inland over Malawi and Zimbabwe.
The cyclone has caused the deaths of 56 people in Malawi, where the situation seemed to have become less intense, though an increase in the death toll has not been ruled out.
On Tuesday, the regional director for the UN World Food Program in Southern Africa, Lola Castro, told EFE by telephone that her organization was focusing its efforts on saving lives, describing the cyclone as an “unprecedented disaster.”
Castro added that high-energy biscuits were being airlifted and distributed to people in Beira.
The United Nations and its humanitarian partners in Mozambique have appealed for $40.8 million to provide urgent aid for the African country.