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Portugal is sending a team from the country’s water utility Aguas de Portugal to Mozambique along with a water treatment plant to help people affected by Cyclone Idai to have access to drinking water, minister of the environment João Pedro Matos Fernandes said on Friday.
Pedro Matos Fernandes said during a conference titled “Water – new approaches”, that the team and the water treatment plant were “essential” for Mozambican people, who were facing an “unprecedented” tragedy, which destroyed the country’s second biggest city, Beira.
He told journalists at the sidelines of the event that the country was also getting ready to send generators to support restore energy in the affected areas.
The quality of drinking water is “crucial” due to the risk of epidemics, he pointed out.
On Sunday, technicians are expected to reach the location and towards the end of the week the water treatment plant will be set up in the city of Beira, he added.
UPDATE: We are deploying emergency water and sanitation units to #Mozambique.
— IFRC Intl. Federation #RedCross #RedCrescent (@ifrc) March 21, 2019
The death toll following Cyclone Idai has reached 557 deaths, out of which 242 took place in Mozambique. Zimbabwe saw 259 people killed and Malawi 56.
The cyclone affected at least 2.8 million people in the three African countries and the area submerged in Mozambique covers around 1,300 square km, according to estimates by international organisations.
The city of Beira, in the central coast of Mozambique, was one of the regions most affected by the cyclone on the night of 14 March, with the UN warning that 40,000 displaced people needed urgent help, estimated at over $40 million (more than €35 million.
Over a week after the storm, thousands of people are still waiting to be rescued in areas hit by winds of 170 km/hour, heavy rain and floods, that destroyed cities, homes and agricultural fields.
Organisations involved in the rescue efforts have warned regarding the danger of an outbreak of contagious diseases.
Portugal is among countries that have sent help and technicians to Mozambique, with two C-130 Air Force planes on their way to Beira and a third commercial plane set to depart today, followed by another flight on Monday chartered by the Portuguese Red Cross.Source: Lusa