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Beira, March 13 in the afternoon. Photo Magazine CRV
Residents in the Munhava neighbourhood in the city of Beira, central Mozambique, reported to Lusa on Friday that there had been deaths in that area due to the destruction caused by the passage of Cyclone Idai.
“My daughter fell ill and I’m in the hospital. A neighbour’s daughter died [when] the house fell,” said Miquelina Mugaua, a resident of Munhava.
Mateus Silvério, another resident, told Lusa that “the situation is more critical in the interior” of the neighbourhood.
“There is a child who has died and, near Munhava’s maternity hospital, one other man is dead,” he said.
The official entities will send a detailed survey of the storm-related events to a later date.
The private TV broadcater STV reported that there was at least one death due to the collapse of a house in Nhamatanda distric (Sofala province), located about 100 kilometres from the provincial capital.
In the city, heavy rains and cyclonic winds destroyed several houses and other structure in Munhava’s disadvantaged urban district, such as a health clinic, where Lusa found that several people who were seeking medical care within a few hours of daylight.
Only at 8:00 a.m. (06:00a.m. in Lisbon) did the wind and rains decrease in intensity.
The city of Beira is one of the main cities in Mozambique, with about half a million inhabitants and capital of the province of Sofala, has been without electricity and without communications due to the cyclone.
Throughout the urban area there are marks of destruction, with buildings without roof and many broken glasses.
There are trees, billboards and other fallen structures across the streets, making them impassable.
There are residents who try to provide support to the population using bicycles which, in some cases, are used as ambulances to carry injured people.
Around the city and surrounding neighbourhoods we can see residents leaving behind their substandard homes and seeking shelter in warmer places.
Relief teams from the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) and UN agencies are on the ground assessing the situation, an official source said.
Mozambique’s National Meteorological Institute (INAM) has announced that the cyclone has been weakening since it landed on the Indian Ocean early on Thursday.
Today, Cyclone Idai is expected to continue heading west with 140 to 160 kilometres per hour winds, heavy rains and thunderstorms, mainly affecting the provinces on its route – Sofala and Manica – but also Zambézia, Inhambane and Tete.
Karin Mantente, a representative of the World Food Program (WFP) in the country, told Lusa today that there are food products and five helicopters from different relief agencies ready to take action in the centre region as soon as there are weather conditions to operate.
A caravan with the different members of the operations should circulate today between Caia and Beira to assess damages and needs.
The cyclone should only dissipate over Zimbabwe on Saturday, according to forecasts.
This is the second strong storm to ravage central and northern Mozambique in just over a week.
Since March 6, at least 15 people have died and more than 103,000 have been affected by heavy rains and floods in central and northern Mozambique, the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.