Cyclone Idai’s heavy toll: 732 dead, hundreds of thousands displacedhttps://indianexpress.com/article/world/cyclone-idais-heavy-toll-732-dead-hundreds-of-thousands-displaced-mozambique-5639691/

Cyclone Idai’s heavy toll: 732 dead, hundreds of thousands displaced

As of Saturday, at least 732 people had been reported killed in the storm and heavy rains before it hit, and the number was expected to rise, government and United Nations officials said.

People go on their morning errands amid the shattered city of Beira, Friday, March 22 2019. (AP Photo/Cara Anna)

Rescue workers are rushing to help hundreds of thousands of people after Cyclone Idai battered the Mozambican port city of Beira on March 14, then moved inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

As of Saturday, at least 732 people had been reported killed in the storm and heavy rains before it hit, and the number was expected to rise, government and United Nations officials said.

The storm flattened homes, damaged roads and bridges, and knocked out power and communications across a swathe of Southern Africa.

A man passes through a section of the road damaged by Cyclone Idai in Nhamatanda about 50 kilometres from Beira, in Mozambique, Friday. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Flooding creates fertile ground for disease outbreaks. Cases of cholera have been reported in Beira, adding the danger of deadly illnesses to people who are scrambling to find food, water and shelter, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.

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Heavy rains also washed away agricultural lands, leaving many with nothing to harvest.

Here is a look at the storm’s impact, according to the latest figures provided by U.N. agencies and affected governments.

MOZAMBIQUE

Cyclone Idai made landfall the night of March 14 near the port city of Beira, bringing heavy winds and rains. Two major rivers, the Buzi and the Pungue, burst their banks, submerging entire villages and leaving bodies floating in the water.

Number killed: 417
Number injured: 1,400
Number displaced: 600,000
Houses damaged or destroyed: 17,400
Crops damaged: 385,300 hectares
Number affected: 1.8 million

In this photo taken Friday, March 22, 2019, men retrieve the body of 17-year-old Agreement Munanga, who died last Friday after Cyclone Idai caused mudslides in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe. (AP Photo/KB Mpofu)

ZIMBABWE

On March 16, the storm hit eastern Zimbabwe, where it flattened homes and flooded communities in the Chimanimani and Chipinge districts.

Number killed: 259
Number injured: 200
Number displaced: 16,000 households
Number affected: 250,000

MALAWI

Before making landfall, the storm system brought heavy rains and flooding to the lower Shire River districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje, in Malawi’s far south. The rains continued after the storm hit, compounding the misery for tens of thousands of people.

Number killed: 56
Number injured: 577
Number displaced: 94,000
Number affected: 840,000