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Cyclone Idai death toll in Africa rises sharply

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The official death toll from Cyclone Idai, which tore through southern Africa more than a week ago, rose sharply as more deaths were confirmed.

Some 1.7 million people are said to be affected across southern Africa, with no electricity or running water in areas where homes have been swept away and roads destroyed by the floods.

Mozambique’s Land and Environment Minister, Celso Correia, said that the number of people declared dead in Mozambique rose from 242 to 417. Thousands remain trapped by the floodwaters, and many of the Mozambican government’s relief centres have only just started receiving food supplies.

Mozambique Cyclone Idai aftermath
A man and two children carrying donations after the passage of Cyclone Idai in the province of Sofala, central Mozambique

The new figure puts the overall death toll at about 700 people across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

But the toll is expected to rise further. Cases of cholera were recorded in Beira in central Mozambique. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned of the risk of other outbreaks, already noting an increase in malaria.
The storm has killed at least 259 people in Zimbabwe, while in Malawi 56 people died when heavy rains hit ahead of the cyclone.

The United Nations said the final casualty figure will be determined once the flood waters have receded but there is new danger lurking as the Buzi and Zambezi rivers were at risk of breaking their banks again.



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