Mozambique on Wednesday started three days of mourning for those killed by the powerful tropical storm – cyclone Idai.
The country is one of three in Southern Africa battered by the cyclone leading to the deaths of hundreds.
Mozambique’s government has said that the death toll from the disaster could hit over 1,000 across the three Southern African countries.
Zimbabwe and Malawi were also battered by the cyclone with the United Nations saying over 2.6 million people have been affected.
So far some 200 people have been confirmed dead in Mozambique alone with the country’s port city of Beira recording massive destruction.
Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi says Cyclone Idai may have killed more than 1,000 people. The storm struck Beira, the country’s fourth largest city, with a population of 500,000+. The Red Cross estimates at least 90% of the area is completely destroyed.pic.twitter.com/wvjoV1MCmZ
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) March 19, 2019
Schools, hospitals and other essential buildings have been flattened with thousands displaced.
“Challenges remain in terms of the search and rescue of thousands of people, including children,” UNICEF said.
#CycloneIdai: Red Cross teams are distributing shelter supplies to affected families in #Beira. More supplies for at least 3,000 families are being brought in by ship to #Mozambique by @PIROI_FRC. Volunteers in Beira are handing out chlorine so that people can purify water. pic.twitter.com/JbPjZo3WK7
— IFRC Intl. Federation #RedCross #RedCrescent (@ifrc) March 20, 2019
UNICEF also estimates that 260,000 children are now at risk in Mozambique due to the disaster.
Zimbabwe is also the next worst affected with millions displaced. Rescue efforts are still ongoing to help those trapped.