Cyclone leaves Mozambique city nearly cut off

Cyclone Idai has ripped through Malawi Mozambique and Zimbabwe leaving an estimated 140 people dead and hundreds more missing

As Cyclone Idai sweeps across southern Africa cutting off cities such as Beira in Mozambique and flooding farms, the United Nations and humanitarian partners estimate Sh4 billion is needed for emergency relief.

Tropical Cyclone Idai which made a landfall on Thursday night in Mozambique is moving towards Zimbabwe where it will eventually die down on March 18, the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services has said.

Joshua Sacco, a member of Parliament in the eastern district of Chimanimani, told Reuters that the storm had left a trail of destruction reminiscent of Cyclone Eline in February 2000, which devastated southern Zimbabwe.

Local officials said that this week's heavy rains claimed 66 lives, injured 111 people and displaced 17,000 people.

At least 126 people were killed by the downpour that has struck parts of Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa over the past week, officials said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared a State of Disaster in respect to areas in Manicaland province that were affected by Cyclone Idia, which has claimed 31 lives and displaced 200 people, a lot of them in Chimanimani and Chipinge.

Earlier a lawmaker told AFP that thousands of people have been affected, power cut off and major bridges flooded.

Zimbabwe's information ministry said the worst of the storm hit the mountainous Chimanimani region, some 350 kilometers (217 miles) southeast of the capital, Harare.

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
Mozambique cyclone kills dozens, cuts power to SA

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is now on a visit to Abu Dhabi, has declared a state of disaster in the affected areas.

They also affected neighbouring Malawi, where 56 people died, the government said.

She said the cyclone which is likely to make land fall in Zambia from 15th - 20th March 2019, will be characterised by high velocity winds, heavy rainfall storms may result in flash and localized floods and debris.

Hardest hit is Mozambique's central port city of Beira where the airport is closed, electricity is out and many homes have been destroyed.

South Africa's power utility company Eskom on Saturday introduced electricity rationing "due to the loss of additional capacity, which includes a reduction in imports from Mozambique", it said in a statement.

An official at the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) told AFP earlier that "houses and trees were destroyed and pylons downed".

"The runway is full of obstacles and parked aircrafts are damaged".

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