CAFOD responds as Cyclone Idai leaves deadly floods across Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe 19 March 2019
In Beira, Mozambique the cyclone washed away part of the main road. They are just one of the many communities in Mozambique who has been cut off by the floods caused by Cyclone Idai. Support us to reach vulnerable families affected by the floods CAFOD has pledged £30,000, in response to the devastation that Cyclone Idai has left in its wake across Mozambique. On the 14 to 15 March, Cyclone Idai made landfall in central Mozambique, near Beira City, Sofala Province, leaving almost 90 percent of the city submerged in flood water.
The Cyclone brought torrential rains and winds of up to 140 km/h, and a tidal surge has cut off several villages in the area. Gabriel Bertani, CAFOD’s Country Representative for Mozambique, said: “There is concern for the many people cut off by the floods. Their basic needs will be clean and safe drinking water, food, medicines, and shelter.” Working with our local Caritas experts, rapid assessments are already underway in some of the worst affected area – Beira, Dondo, and Caia, where the priority is to reach 1,400 vulnerable people, with food – rice, beans, sugar and cooking oil, as well as hygiene kits.
Bertani explains the importance of acting quickly and getting aid to where it’s needed, saying: “Powerful Cyclones like Idai damage water supplies and sanitation facilities which increases the risk of water-borne diseases spreading. "In the low-lying areas, flood waters have caused widespread damage to crops and livestock, leaving people with very limited food for their daily needs.” Donate to our work so we can respond quickly in emergencies It is not clear how many people have died since the storm hit, also affecting Malawi and Zimbabwe. To date, it is estimated that more than 200 people have died and thousands are homeless across the three countries. In Mozambique, Cyclone Idai has caused large-scale power and communications outages and has shut down road and transport networks.
Severe flooding has also affected areas of eastern Zimbabwe. Our local Caritas aid agency is already planning rapid assessments, in the Chimanimani and Chipinge area. Landslides have washed away bridges, and reports of 600mm of rain falling in Chimanimani, in 24 hours. We've received this latest update from our emergency response team on the ground. "The water and sewer system has been washed away, so there is no drinking or flushing water for toilets in Chimanimani town. "Up to 60 bodies may be trapped by a landslide near Chimanimani town and efforts to retrieve the bodies is ongoing, but slow, because of the challenging conditions.
"St John Catholic Church is housing 100 displaced families and Chimanimani Hotel, 400 families." An initial needs assessment in eastern Zimbabwe has identified at least 9,000 people in need of vital humanitarian aid. An accurate number of people affected is difficult to establish at this point, as many districts remain inaccessible. CAFOD ’s emergency experts on the ground say that the immediate needs are clean and safe water, basic shelter, food, and household kitchenware and utensils.