A man stands on the edge of a collapsed bridge in Chimanimani, about 600 kilometers southeast of Harare, Zimbabwe, Monday, March 18, 2019. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP)

PHOTOS: Tens of thousands in southern Africa need help after cyclone

More than 600 people are confirmed dead in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi

A second week has begun of efforts to find and help tens of thousands of people after Cyclone Idai devastated parts of southern Africa.

Members of the Indian and South African militaries are joining aid groups in flying over stretches of central Mozambique as they look for signs of life and people in need.

No one knows how many people are missing. More than 600 people are confirmed dead in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Aid workers say that number is certain to rise as flood waters recede.

The shattered Mozambican city of Beira and other communities are now home to crowded displacement camps, both organized and informal. With communications badly affected by the cyclone and some families separated in the chaos, a program aimed at reunification is now underway.

“Every day we discover that the destruction left by Cyclone Idai is worse than we imagined,” Hicham Mandoudi, the International Committee of the Red Cross’s head of sub-delegation in Beira, said in a statement. “We are deeply concerned about remote communities that are cut-off by flooding and landslides and are yet to receive any humanitarian assistance. More rain is expected to come, which will compound the suffering of people who have already lost everything.”

Kids scrape for remaining rice inside a pot at a displacement center in Beira, Mozambique, Friday, March 22, 2019. (Themba Hadebe/AP)

Mozambique’s government has formally requested assistance from the international community, the U.N. humanitarian office said, opening the door to further aid efforts.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday appealed for stepped up support for victims of Idai, saying the U.N. and its humanitarian partners are scaling up the response but “far greater international support is needed.”

The U.N. chief said in a statement that “with crops destroyed in the breadbasket of Mozambique more people are at risk of food insecurity in all three countries.”

Beira, the city at the centre of aid efforts for Mozambique, still can only be reached by land or sea. Local fishermen have joined the rescue efforts, ferrying stranded people about 50 or so at a time to the city’s beach or port.

A man passes through a section of the road damaged by Cyclone Idai in Nhamatanda about 50 kilometres from Beira, in Mozambique, Friday March, 22, 2019.(Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP)

With mobile phone communications struggling to return, some residents have lined an overpass known for having a better chance of receiving a signal.

Prices of food and other basic items are doubling, even tripling. People wait in line outside stores, let in one by one in an effort to prevent looting.

Throughout the region, emergency air efforts focus on spotting stranded people and communities in the hope of dropping aid or plucking those in dire need to safety.

There are signs of life in the inundated landscape, even smoke from some cooking fires.

As waters recede, however, aid workers expect the death toll to rise as bodies are found.

With water and sanitation systems largely destroyed, waterborne diseases are also a growing concern.

Cara Anna, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Cows are seen near a collapsed bridge in Chimanimani, southeast of Harare, Zimbabwe, Monday, March 18, 2019. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP)

People pass through a section of the road damaged by Cyclone Idai in Nhamatanda about 50 kilometres from Beira, in Mozambique, Friday March, 22, 2019. As flood waters began to recede in parts of Mozambique on Friday, fears rose that the death toll could soar as bodies are revealed. (Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP)

Just Posted

Nanaimo Airport’s $14-million expanded terminal officially opens

Departure lounge, security and baggage areas improved

Pair of Western Forest Products mills remain idle after exhausting strike

WFP claims log supply, markets to blame for continued idling at Ladysmith and Cowichan Bay

Heritage shines along with the sun during Ladysmith Heritage Week

Waterfront event showcases some of the machinery that helped make Ladysmith what it is

Robinson celebration of life now at Mellor Hall

Cowichan Exhibition Grounds site picked due to the need for more space

Kiss the Moon, Kiss the Sun, starts show run at Ladysmith Little Theatre

Kiss the Moon, Kiss the Sun will run from March 5 to March 22

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Hundreds of B.C. firefighters ‘climb the wall’ for BC Lung Association

The charity fundraiser saw participants climbing up 48 storeys

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Most Read