Breaking; Death toll hit 350 in Mozambique by flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai. - eritvnews

Breaking; Death toll hit 350 in Mozambique by flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai.

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The total number of fatalities rose above 350 as communities remain isolated by devastating flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai.

Idai barreled onshore north of Beira, Mozambique, with its strength equivalent to a Category 3 major hurricane in the Atlantic or eastern Pacific oceans.

Mozambique has declared a state of emergency and three days of mourning due to the deadly impacts of Idai, March 18, 2019.

The Associated Press has reported that more than 200 people were killed and more than 1.5 million people have been affected by the storm in Mozambique.

Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi told Radio Mozambique on Monday that the number of fatalities from the storm may reach 1,000 in Mozambique.

Officials in Zimbabwe reported that the death toll had climbed above 100 in the country as of Wednesday and that number may climb above 350. Malawi’s government has confirmed 56 deaths as of Tuesday.

Mozambique Idai

Idai first tracked into north-central Mozambique as a tropical depression with torrential rain during the first week of March before moving back over water and rapidly strengthening over the northern Mozambique Channel last weekend and early this week.

The Red Cross reports that communications were completely severed in Beira, Mozambique's fourth-largest city. Most of the more than 500,000 residents of the city remain without electricity. Early reports indicate roughly 90 percent of the city has been damaged or destroyed.

Access to the city has been limited as all roadways to and from the city have been damaged or submerged by flood waters.

The city's airport has been turned into the base for rescue operations as it remains one of the few places in the city that has communications.

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Photos emerging from the area show streets littered with downed trees, debris and flooding devastation. Recovery efforts are likely to take weeks or even months due to the extensive damage.

Makeshift medical centers are being built as the main hospital in Beira is not safe for anyone to enter following damage from the storm.

Other communities along the coastline in the northern Zambezi provinces have been cut off from the mainland by storm surge flooding, according to Reuters.

While Idai has weakened to a tropical rainstorm over Mozambique, residents of Mozambique and neighboring Zimbabwe should not let their guard down.

Idai can continue to unload torrential and flooding rain over these areas into Thursday. Ongoing relief efforts have been further hindered by downpours in recent days as swollen rivers continue to block roadways.
Additional flooding can occur in and around the higher terrain along the eastern border of Mozambique and Zimbabwe. These areas can face the AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 760 mm (30 inches), leading to communities being inundated with flood waters and life-threatening mudslides.

Another concern is that dams in the region are now at 95 to 100 percent capacity raising the risk for failure and forcing water to be released into already flooded locations.


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