Published: Tue, March 19, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Twitter shares photos, videos from Cyclone Idai's 'massive and horrifying' damage

Twitter shares photos, videos from Cyclone Idai's 'massive and horrifying' damage

Nearly 850 000 people have been affected by severe rains and flooding caused by cyclone Idai, a tropical cyclone that hit the Mozambican port of Beira on Thursday night.

Al Jazeera's Malcolm Webb, reporting from Espungabera, some 300km from Beira, said the destruction caused by the "enormous" amount of rain was hampering aid efforts. "More than 100,000 people are in danger". The aerial video shows an entire town inundated by flood waters. [Courtesy] "The scale of damage".

The Red Cross said 90 percent of Beira its surrounds are "damaged or destroyed". Jamie LeSueur, who is leading the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cresent Societies (IFRC) assement team in Beira, said, "The situation is awful".

The charity's Jamie LeSueur said: 'Almost everything is destroyed.

Roads and bridges were swept away, slowing rescue efforts by the military, government agencies and non-governmental organizations, he said.

The cyclone knocked out electricity, shut down the airport and cut off access to the city by road.

A deserted shop in the devastated Mozambican city of Beira has become a place of refuge for dozens of families displaced by a deadly cyclone, which has caused flooding and rendered many areas inaccessible.

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"There has been a lot of damage that we have not yet made the calculation of how much we need to rebuild", said Alberto Mondlane, governor of Mozambique's worst-hit Sofala province, in comments broadcast over state radio late Friday. Emma Beaty, coordinator of a grouping of NGOs known as Cosaco, said: "We've never had something of this magnitude before in Mozambique".

Some dams have yielded while others have reached full capacity. Rivers have flooded seriously, with banks bursting - creating real dangers to people even though the tropical storm has ebbed.

"The waters of the Pungue and Buzi rivers overflowed, making whole villages disappear and isolating communities.", Nyusi said.

"We are sleeping rough, we are eating poorly and we don't have houses anymore", Mr Paulino said.

Beira was at the centre of the storm, and when it hit, "authorities were forced to close the global airport in the port city of Beira after the air traffic control tower, the navigation systems and the runways were damaged by the storm".

Hundreds are missing and more than 1.5 million people have been affected by the widespread destruction and flooding. Some roads were swallowed up by massive sinkholes, while bridges were ripped to pieces by flash floods, according to an AFP photographer. The deaths are mainly in Zimbabwe's Chimanimani, a mountainous area along the eastern border with Mozambique that is popular with tourists. However, the high water level and strong winds have made it hard to land planes and helicopters to carry out rescue operations, according to Mozambique's state radio.

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