Fri | Feb 21, 2020

Huge floods from cyclone leave hundreds dead in southern Africa

Published:Tuesday | March 19, 2019 | 3:01 PM
AP photo

CHIMANIMANI, Zimbabwe (AP) — Aid workers rushed to rescue victims clinging to trees and crammed on rooftops against rapidly rising waters Tuesday after a cyclone unleashed devastating floods in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

More than 238 were dead, hundreds were missing and thousands more were at risk.

“This is the worst humanitarian crisis in Mozambique’s recent history,” said Jamie LeSueur, head of response efforts in Beira for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. At least 400,000 people were left homeless.

The rapidly rising floodwaters created “an inland ocean” in Mozambique, endangering tens of thousands of families, aid workers said as they scrambled to rescue survivors of Cyclone Idai and airdrop food, water and blankets.

Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi said the death toll could reach 1,000.

Emergency workers called it the region’s most destructive flooding in 20 years.

Heavy rains were expected to continue through Thursday.

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