Cyclone Idai may have killed more than 1000 people, Mozambique's president says

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Dozens of deaths in the southeast Africa country have been attributed to Idai.

Heavy rains are forecast to continue into the middle of the week, bringing more flooding and making it hard to reach stranded communities in both Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

According to the United Nations, about 1.5 million people in total have been affected by Cyclone Idai's torrential rains and winds that have reached speeds of up to 200 kilometers, or 124 miles, per hour.

Initial assessments in Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique suggested that more than 150 people have been killed in those three countries, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said Monday.

According to President Nyusi, the Pungwe and Buzi rivers in central Mozambique "have burst their banks and engulfed entire villages" and "communities are isolated and bodies are floating".

Thousands have been forced to leave behind their belongings and flee to higher ground as U.N. agencies and the Red Cross attempt to deliver food and medicine
Cyclone Idai batters Zimbabwe, at least 24 people dead

Responding to a question that the country was ill prepared for the disaster Chamisa said the country was not caught unaware but was ill prepared.

According to the Red Cross, the cyclone has damaged or destroyed 90 percent of Beira, Mozambique's second largest city and a major port hub.

The destruction in Beira is "massive and horrifying", said Jamie LeSueur, who led a Red Cross team that had to assess the damage by helicopter because of the flooded-out roads.

"The situation is awful".

The city's airport was set to open on Sunday as flights began taking off from the capital Maputo bound for Beira. Only 84 deaths have been confirmed so far in Mozambique as a result of Cyclone Idai, which has also left a trail of death and destruction across Zimbabwe and Malawi, with vast areas of land flooded, roads destroyed and communication wiped out.

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There are no immediate reports of any injuries, but homes and trees were damaged and power was knocked out to thousands. The storm also spawned at least three tornadoes in MI and in on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

Mount Chiluvo in central Mozambique was badly hit by flooding.

While the physical impact of Idai is beginning to emerge, the human impact is unclear.

A $50 million rescue and rebuild mission is now underway to fix roads, bridges, schools, communication lines and provide healthcare to those affected.

A toll compiled Monday by AFP from official sources puts the death toll in Mozambique at 68, including 55 in Beira alone, and 89 in Zimbabwe, up from a previous toll of 127.

"The teachers and school authorities are making all efforts to ensure the children arrive and we take them home but it seems the situation is getting worse", one unnamed parent told the state broadcaster ZBC, as she raised concerns about the ongoing rains. The cyclone knocked out electricity, shut down the airport and cut off access to the city by road.

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"I understand that the control room at Beira was affected and pumping of fuel and natural gas was in turn affected", Minister Gumbo said.

President Filipe Nyusi said he had flown over the affected region, where two rivers had overflowed.

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa has made a disaster declaration for affected areas, the country's Ministry of Information said.

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