Cyclone Idai hits Zimbabwe, at least 24 people dead


Heavy downpours in neighbouring Malawi this week have affected nearly a million people and claimed 56 lives there, according to the latest government toll.

Beira's global airport was closed after the cyclone made landfall, damaging the air traffic control tower, the navigation systems and the runways.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared a State of Disaster in respect to areas in Manicaland province that were affected by Cyclone Idia, which has claimed 31 lives and displaced 200 people, majority in Chimanimani and Chipinge.

Another official, Pedro Armando Alberto Virgula, in Chinde, said a hospital, police station and seven schools there lost their roofs and four houses were destroyed.

Thousands were marooned by the heavy flooding and, only caring for their lives, abandoned their possessions to seek safety on higher ground.

United Nations agencies and the Red Cross are helping with rescue efforts that include delivering food, supplies and medicine by helicopter.

"The runway is full of obstacles and parked aircrafts are damaged". The government, with support from local and worldwide partners, is providing assistance to people already displaced by floods, but access is being impeded by road damage, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"Number of deaths is confirmed at 24 mainly from Chimanimani east". Zaka District Administrator, Ndeya Nyeda said wards 1, 2 and 3 were affected and areas are inaccessible as the bridges along Chiredzi River are flooded.

More news: Someone's Started A GoFundMe For Eggboy, The Boy Who Egged Fraser Anning
More news: Jaguar Land Rover to recall 44,000 cars over CO2
More news: Missouri River flooding prompts interstate to close north of Kansas City

Government spokesman Nick Mangwana said the dead included two school students who were among dozens of children trapped in a dormitory after rocks fell from a nearby mountain.

"The information we have so far is that over 100 people are missing and some of them may have died", Sacco said.

Recent flooding has already wreaked havoc across Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa with more than one million people affected.

"We are receiving tragic reports of some people being swept away".

The ministry of information said the Zimbabwean national army was leading the rescue efforts.

In Malawi, people "are now facing a second threat of flash floods" following the cyclone, said the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on Twitter.

South Africa's power utility company Eskom on Saturday introduced severe electricity rationing "due to the loss of additional capacity, which includes a reduction in imports from Mozambique", it said in a statement.