Mozambique started three days of national mourning on Wednesday after a powerful cyclone and flooding killed hundreds of people and left a trail of destruction across swathes of southeast Africa.
Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique’s port city of Beira with winds of up to 170 kph (105 mph) on Thursday last week, then moved inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi, flattening buildings and putting the lives of millions of people at risk.
Drone footage showed residents of a shantytown at the port still picking through wreckage days after the storm hit and trying to drag plastic sheeting over their ruined homes.
“Great floods have sowed mourning and devastation in various areas of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi,” Pope Francis said on Wednesday. “I express my pain and closeness to those dear people.”
Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi said a day earlier that the cyclone had killed more than 200 people in his country but rescuers were still discovering more bodies.
In neighbouring Zimbabwe the official death count stands at 98 but is likely to grow as hundreds are still missing.
In the worst-hit eastern parts of Zimbabwe, grieving families rushed to bury their dead because the cyclone has knocked out power supplies and stopped mortuaries from functioning.
Source : REUTERS