It is esteemated that 1.7 million people have been directly affected by the cyclone’s passage, which is already considered one of the worst climate disasters in the two latest decades in South-Western Africa.
Tropical cyclone Idai, considered one of the deadliest storms ever recorded to hit the Southern Hemisphere as a whole, made landfall last Thursday on the harbour city of Beira which, with over 500.000 inhabitants, is one of the biggest cities in Mozambique. It later moved westwards and caused widespread destruction in Zimbabwe and Malawi, leaving a trail of destruction and affecting thousands of people.
The number of victims –either dead, missing or injured–, keep growing as the hours go by. In Mozambique, 202 casualties are accounted for; but last Monday, Filipe Nyusi, the president of the country, declared the figure could rise above 1,000. In Zimbabwe, the official figure is, up to now, of 96 casualties and in Malawi at least of 150. According to information from the UNO’s World Food Programme it is esteemated that 1.7 million people have been directly affected by the cyclone’s passage, which is already considered one of the worst climate disasters in the two latest decades in South-Western Africa.
In medicusmundi we wish to express our deep feeling of solidarity with all the families victims of the Idai cyclone, which has devastated those three countries. And particularly, we would like to send our solidarity to all the families living in the area of Beira, capital city of the province of Sofala, Mozambique, for the human losses and material damages they have suffered. According to the Red Cross, 90% of the city has been devastated: a large number of homes flooded, thousands of families evicted, and many infrastructures severely damaged.
At the moment, we are not working in the provinces affected by the cyclone, and our teams in Maputo and Cabo Delgado are not specialized in emergency actions like the ones needed in such circumstances. As you know, we are working in health system development projects. We are following closely what’s going on and carefully assessing different possible actions to be undertaken when appropriate, in order to as useful and efficient as possible.
We wholeheartedly join all of those (people as well as institutions) working at present in order to help minimise the suffering and the distress the country is facing at the moment. And, as the people in Mozambique use to say “Estamos juntos” (We are together, we stick together)
- United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA
- United Nations News Service – ONU NEWS
- National Institute for the Management of Disasters (Mozambique) – INGC
- Savana (Mozambican newspaper)
- O Pais (Mozambican newspaper)
- el diario.es (Spanish Newspaper)
- Information from the Valencian Co-ordination of NGOs – CVONGD
- Information from RTVE (Spanish Radio and Television Corporation)
- BBC News
- SIC Notícias (Portuguese News Service)
- Público (Portuguese Newspaper)
- Expresso (Portuguese Newspaper)