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Scores more deaths reported in Mozambique after Cyclone Idai

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The official death toll from Cyclone Idai, which tore through southern Africa more than a week ago, rose sharply on Saturday as authorities reported scores more deaths.

The number of people declared dead in Mozambique rose from 242 to 417, Land and Environment Minister Celso Correia said.

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

The toll is expected to rise further.

The storm has killed at least 259 people in Zimbabwe, while in Malawi 56 people died when heavy rains hit ahead of the cyclone.

But the United Nations said officials will only be able to determine the final casualty figure once the flood waters have receded.

The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Saturday that the Buzi and Zambezi rivers were at risk of breaking their banks again.

“We’re going to have to wait until the flood waters recede until we know the full expanse of the toll on the people of Mozambique,” OCHA co-ordinator Sebastian Rhodes Stampa said.

Thousands remain trapped by the floodwaters, and many of the Mozambican government’s relief centres have only just started receiving food supplies.

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.

 

Source: BBC

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