No fewer than 100 people have died and hundreds of others are missing in Mozambique and neighbouring Zimbabwe after tropical cyclone Idai swept across the southern African nations with flash floods and ferocious winds.
Authorities in Zimbabwe said the death toll in the country has so far risen to 65 in the eastern part of the country while Mozambique said 48 people were killed in the affected central areas after the cyclone tore across the region on Friday and Saturday.
Joshua Sacco, a member of parliament for Zimbabwe’s Chimanimani district, the worst hit part of the country said scores of people were still missing after houses and bridges were washed away by flash floods when the storm slammed the area.
“So far, we are looking at 65 people that have lost their lives. We are looking at probably 150 to 200 people missing,” Sacco told reporters.
“We are very worried because all these houses were just suddenly submerged under water and literally washed away and that is where we have about 147 missing. It’s very sad and the situation is dire,” he added.
Although the most affected areas were not yet accessible, high winds and dense clouds have continued to hamper military helicopter flights and rescue attempts.
The majority of those unaccounted for are believed to be government workers whose housing complex was completely engulfed by the raging waters. Their fate is currently unknown because the area is still unreachable.
According to Zimbabwe’s Department of Civil Protection (DCP), two pupils at a secondary school were said to be among those killed after a landslide sent a boulder crashing into their dormitory.