Sam Mpofu

Cyclone Idai: Death toll may exceed 1000, Mozambique’s President Nyusi says

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said on Monday that the death toll from Cyclone Idai could exceed 1000.

More than 84 deaths have officially been recorded since the Thursday night landfall of Idai in the southern African country, which brought torrential rains and devastating winds of more than 170 km/h. However, after flying over the disaster-hit areas to conduct an inspection on Sunday, President Nyusi said the situation could be worse than earlier reported.

“Everything indicates that we may register more than 1000 deaths,” said Nyusi, adding that the cyclone has left the region without drinking water, communications and it has affected the normal functioning of hospitals, schools and other public and private institutions.

“The water of the Pungue and Buzi rivers overflowed, making villages disappear and isolating communities,” the President said. “Bodies are floating. It is a real humanitarian disaster with great proportions.”

President Nyusi said the government’s concern and priority were to save people’s lives without excuses.

The tropical cyclone had also wreaked havoc in Zimbabwe, where it headed after leaving Mozambique. More than 80 people were killed in the country.