Images Of The Cyclone Idai Which Devastated Mozambique
"Humanitarian needs are significant"
Two million people are said to be affected by cyclone Idai and its floods across southern Africa. According to the authorities, the storm which swiped the area has so far killed 557 people across Mozambique. In Zimbabwe, 259 people were killed and 200 people, 30 of whom are children, are still missing. The death toll is expected to rise, some areas being inaccessible for the moment. Humanitarian aid groups are concerned over the risk of epidemic.
The NGO CARE which is working in all of these countries is calling for donations. It qualifies the situation as "catastrophic", explaining: "Families are in urgent need of shelter, food, clean water, and medical supplies. Entire villages have been wiped out". We were sent testimonies of the locals and pictures taken by reporter Josh Estey one week after the cyclone and during the food distributions organized by CARE.
Diolinda Fabião, aged 14 lives in Beira, 90% of which were wiped out:
"I was sleeping and I woke up because I felt like I was floating. But my leg was actually in water. So I woke up my mother and we took our food and went to look for a safe place.I lost all my school books and clothes because they were all in the water."
Located right on the coast, this shanty town of loosely built homes was extremely vulnerable to the high winds and rain. CARE’s country director in Mozambique Marc Nosbach testifies:
"The devastating impact of Idai is particularly significant in Beira, second biggest city of Mozambique and the most impacted by the cyclone. It is a coastal city and several parts of it are at sea level, the cyclone rose the sea level by six meters, destroying 90% of the city!"
"In Mozambique, people are saying they had never seen a storm of this magnitude. Containers were flown away like lego toys! The testimonies of those who survived are terrifying, some saw relatives taken away before their own eyes while the water was rising."
Luis is a fisherman whose home was flooded in the village of Tica, Mozambique. He has been using his boat to rescue up to 20 people a day. It takes him 6 hours round trip to reach flood victims sheltering in treetops. He says:
"These are big trees people are sitting in. They have been in them since Friday and don’t have anything to eat. And how will they survive? So I take my small boat to help rescue them. The situation is bad and there are many people stranded."
1,5 million people need humanitarian help in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.
"What Idea cyclone shows, is the devastating impact of tropical storms which should worsen with climate change", says climate expert for CARE France Fanny Petitbon.
"During a natural catastrophe of this magnitude, people have lost everything, sustaining themselves without food or clean water is a struggle for the victims. Humanitarian needs are significant", Marc Nosbach explains.
Konbini with AFP
By Astrid Van Laer, published on 25/03/2019