Tropical Cyclone Pam
Tropical Cyclone Pam

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said on Monday that the death toll from Tropical Cyclone Idai could exceed 1,000.

The National Institute for Disaster Management said Monday more than 84 deaths have officially been recorded since the landfall of Idai on Thursday night, bringing torrential rains and devastating winds.
However, Nyusi said the situation could be much more serious in his speech addressed to the nation, after flying over the disaster-hit areas to conduct inspection on Sunday. “Everything indicates that we may register more than 1000 deaths,” said Nyusi, adding that the cyclone has left the region without drinking water, communications and it has affected the normal functioning of hospitals, schools and other public and private institutions.

“The water of the Pungue and Buzi rivers overflowed, making villages disappear and isolating communities,” said the president. “Bodies are floating. It is a real humanitarian disaster with great proportions.” Nyusi said the government’s concern and priority were to save people’s lives without excuses.

According to the president, the Defense and Security Forces are on the ground to help with the searches, and air resources including helicopters and airplanes were mobilized to Beira, one of the worst-affected cities, to ensure rapid humanitarian assistance.

The disaster has forced the ruling party Frelimo to postpone its central committee meeting to elect the candidate for the October presidential election, which was scheduled for Friday. “We hope that the government session tomorrow in Beira will make decisions that meet the needs of the people, in order to mitigate the impact and decide the following processes,” he said.

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