New Delhi: In the wake of Cyclone Idai which ravaged South African nations of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, killing as many as 100, India diverted three naval ships to the port city of Beira in Mozambique to provide immediate humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
Secretary Economic Relations (ER) TS Tirumurti tweeted, “In response to a request from Mozambique hit by tropical cyclone causing loss of lives and damage, India has diverted 3 Indian Naval Ships to port city of Beira to provide immediate Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief of food, clothes and medical help to affected people.”
A total of around 1.5 million people have been affected by Cyclone Idai’s torrential rains and winds that have reached speeds of up to 200 kilometres or 124 miles, per hour.
According to a lawmaker from the affected area, Joshua Sacco, the number of people missing is unclear as an entire village in Zimbabwe’s Chimanimani East district was swept away due to flash floods triggered by torrential rains.
“We are talking about the loss of lives, at the moment 65 deaths have been confirmed,” Sacco told Anadolu Agency.
Stressing that death toll could rise in the coming days, Sacco said: “We are worried about an area called Copper where Rusitu and Nyahode Rivers meet and that’s where the whole police camp and several government houses were swept away. We don’t know where those workers are.”
Rescue efforts have been challenging owing to the inclement weather and Zimbabwean military forces are being forced to use road transport for providing immediate aid, despite facing challenges and dangers of encountering several damaged bridges.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has cut short his visit to the UAE due to the ensuing crisis and is closely monitoring the situation.
Cyclone Idai has left a trail of destruction in eastern Zimbabwe, with flash floods sweeping away houses and destroying trees and crops.
The tropical cyclone which made landfall first in Mozambique on Thursday evening, spread to Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa affecting millions of people in the region.
Farmers in the affected areas said that massive losses have been recorded as agricultural fields have been inundated, destroying crop plantations.