BEIRA, March 24, 2019
The offcially recorded deaths toll caused by Cyclone Idai in the central Mozambique rose to 417, Mozambican Minister of Land and Environment and Rural Development Celso Correia said on Saturday.
Correia told reporters on Saturday morning in Sofala that the numbers are expected to rise as the disaster-hit area was of 3,000 square kilometers.
“There is a very large impact on the affected areas, and through drones we have been receiving preliminary data, and unfortunately we now have 417 deaths and 1,528 injured,” said Correia.
The minister said that some 89,000 people are in shelters, and more are being rescued and evacuated from besieged areas.
“We have already been able to re-establish communication, which is facilitating our work, and by Sunday we will have some roads become operational, including the National Road 6, and the railways,” he said.
Correia added that some roads have been reconnected and a part of the city of Beira already has electricity, which will allow the assistance delivery to be more effective and facilitate the work of the support and rescue teams.
“The challenge remains to bring support to affected families, but fortunately we have air assets that are helping with surveillance,” he said, adding that no outbreaks of disease have occurred so far.
According to the minister, even the highest areas were affected by rainwater, and due to the dispersion of populations it remains difficult to gauge the number of missing persons.
Now that the situation begins to stabilize, authorities are redefining safer areas to accommodate families, he said.
“It should be noted that the impact area is from four provinces, and in this area of impact live about seven million people,” he said.
“we are estimating that one million people were directly or indirectly affected.”
The provinces are Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia, in the central region of Mozambique.(Xinhua)