Cyclone Idai hits Southern Africa, leaves trails of destruction

At least 157 people have been killed in Zimbabwe and Mozambique as Cyclone Idai hit Southern Africa, officials and state media said on Monday. Vast areas of land have been flooded, roads destroyed and communications disrupted.

Cyclone Idai hit areas of Zimbabwe and Mozambique on Friday afternoon with a lot of destructions as some families sought refuge in the mountains after their homes were swept away by floods while bridges were washed away, making rescue efforts extremely difficult.

In Zimbabwe, the Chimanimani district has been cut off from the rest of the country.

Zimbabwean information ministry official Nick Mangwana told Reuters the number of confirmed deaths throughout the country was now 89. The body count is expected to rise.

The Mozambican state news agency put the death toll in Beira at 68.

Flooding caused by the Tropical Cyclone Idai weather system since early March had affected more than 1 million people and caused at least 122 deaths as of 13 March. In Malawi, more than 922,900 people had been impacted.

President Mnangagwa having cut short his State visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), rushed back home to co-ordinate emergency rescue operations. He declared state of Disaster in affected areas by the storm.

Cyclone Idai is adjudged the worst to hit the country since Cyclone Eline in 2000.