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Preliminary figures for the damage caused by tropical cyclone Idai in the centre of the country have risen to 84 dead and 1,500 injured. President Nyusi is flying over the flooded areas to assess the level of damage first-hand.
The new figures are the result of more bodies being discovered by the search teams as conditions allow them to advance on the ground.
Sofala province alone accounted for 68 dead by the end yesterday afternoon, specifically in the cities of Beira and Dondo. The other 16 deaths occurred in Manica.
In Sofala, Manica and Zambézia provinces, more than 63,000 people have been affected, and 57,669 houses and two health units destroyed.
However, this picture may be far from complete, since damage is still being evaluated, and with continuing rain in the central region and with National Road EN6 and communications compromised.
President Nyusi, who flew over the provinces of Sofala and Zambézia yesterday, described the situation as “very difficult”, particularly in the city of Beira, where life is literally at a halt, and announced an air bridge to ensure that victims of Cyclone Idai get food assistance and medicines.
President Nyusi is expected to visit other areas affected by Cyclone Idai, which brought heavy rains and winds of up to 180 to 200 kilometres per hour.
The president cut his state visit eSwatini short and arrived in Beira yesterday, while members of the Council of Ministers have been deployed to Niassa and four provinces in the centre of the country to coordinate humanitarian assistance and help normalise the situation.
Ministers Celso Correia, Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development and Ernesto Max Tonela (Mineral Resources and Energy) are working in Sofala; Silva Dunduro (Culture and Tourism) is in Niassa, while João Leopoldo da Costa, (Deputy Minister of Health) is in Manica province.
The National Institute of Meteorology (INAM) forecasts continuing rain and strong winds accompanied by severe thunderstorms in the provinces of Sofala, Manica, and part of Tete until Thursday.
Inhambane and Gaza provinces will also have bad weather.
— Marc Nosbach (@NosbachMarc) March 17, 2019