United Nations seeks Sh4bn as cyclone hits southern Africa

15 2019 shows vehicles as rain which is believed to be the beginning of Tropical cyclone Idai coming from central Mozambique falls in the flooded district of Chikwawa southern Malawi. At least 56 people have died in flood-h

Many houses have been damaged and bridges washed away in parts of the Manicaland province which borders Mozambique.

Some passengers said, though, that they were unaware of the cancellations until they arrived at the airport attempting to leave.

"The information we have so far is that over 100 people are missing and some of them" may have died, Joshua Sacco, a member of parliament in Chimanimani district, told AFP.

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

Elsewhere in Chimanimani, 13 Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) staff in Mawenje who moved to the mountain are waiting for rescue teams, while 67 houses have been damaged in Chipinge leaving at least 5 families homeless in the district. Some 40 people are missing.

Jacob Mafume, a spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, said a "serious humanitarian crisis [was] unfolding" in the east of the country.

Prior to Idai, the death toll in Mozambique alone due to flooding had already reached 66 people, with 111 injured and 17,000 displaced.

The low lying city of Beira was the worst hit by Friday's cyclone, with Chinde to the north also taking a beating and communications with other villages along the coast severed by a 2-meter (6.5-foot) storm surge.

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Cyclone Idai battered Mozambican coastal city Beira on Friday, jeopardising the lives of almost half a million people.

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

As the cyclone approached, the Red Cross sent out more than 200 volunteers to areas most likely to be affected.

"The situation is dire but we don't know the exact particulars", said Jamie LeSueur, the Red Cross's roving emergency operations manager for Africa, who was making the 1,200-kilometre (745-mile) trip from Maputo to Beira by road after flights were cancelled and the airport closed.

Authorities were forced to close Beira worldwide airport after the air traffic control tower, the navigation systems and the runways were damaged by the storm.

"The runway is full of obstacles and parked aircrafts are damaged".

Power outages also affected the provinces of Manica and parts of Inhambane.

The storm damaged a Mozambican transmission line to South Africa, cutting supplies by 900 MW and worsening an electricity shortage in SA.

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