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Cyclone Idai puts 200,000 Zimbabweans in need of urgent aid

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Staff Writer | Thursday March 21, 2019 8:01AM ET
Cyclone Idai help
Africa   The situation in Chimanimani, the hardest hit district in Zimbabwe, is very bad

An estimated 200,000 people in Zimbabwe are likely to need urgent food aid for the next three months after their district was hit by Cyclone Idai, World Food Programme spokesman Herve Verhoosel said on Thursday.


“It looks like the situation in Chimanimani, the hardest hit district in Zimbabwe, is very bad. Some 90 percent of the district has been significantly damaged,” he told a news conference in Geneva.

Rescue workers extended their search in Mozambique on Thursday for survivors of devastating floods following a powerful cyclone that ripped through southern Africa a week ago, killing hundreds and destroying buildings and farmland.

The death toll in Mozambique has risen to 217 and around 15,000 people, many of them very ill, still need to be rescued, Land and Environment Minister Celso Correia said, though rescue workers continue to find bodies and the toll could rise sharply.

Connor Hartnady, leader of a South African rescue operations task force, said a key priority for Thursday was to push into remaining areas affected by the flooding that had not yet been explored in search of people needing rescue.

Helicopters were ferrying people, some plucked from the roofs of buildings and tree-tops, to the port city of Beira, the main headquarters for the huge rescue operation.

 

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