Idai leaves trail of destruction
March 20, 2019 - Cyclone Idai has devastated much of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, impacting over 2.6m people in what could rank as one of the worst weather-related disasters in the southern hemisphere.
The full extent of the devastation will only be known once floodwaters from torrential rains recede. It will be days before Mozambique's inundated plains drain toward the Indian Ocean, and aid groups warned the waters were still rising. People have been reported clinging to rooftops and trees.
Aid workers were shocked as they arrived in the badly hit Mozambique port city of Beira, estimated to be 90 percent destroyed. Its 500,000 residents are scrambling for food, fuel and medicine. Some neighborhoods are below sea level.
International aid has started trickling in to ease the crisis, while churches in Zimbabwe collected supplies to send on.
On Wednesday, the Emirates News Agency cited the Emirates Red Crescent as saying that the United Arab Emirates would provide 18.3 million dirhams ($4.9 million) to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
And the chairman of the African Union Commission said the continental body would provide $350,000 in immediate support to the countries.
The European Union has released 3.5 million euros ($3.9 million) in emergency aid, and the United Kingdom pledged up to 6 million pounds ($7.9 million). Tanzania's military has airlifted 238 tons of food and medicine, and three Indian naval ships have been diverted to Beira to help with evacuations of stranded people and other efforts.