Canada to send $3.5M to support Cyclone Idai relief efforts

People peel bananas on a rooftop in Buzi

People peel bananas on a rooftop in Buzi

At least 417 people have now been declared dead in Mozambique, Land and Environment Minister Celso Correia has said.

The government has revealed that according to the United Nations, the number of deaths from Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe has risen to 259.

"We are running out of time, it is at a critical point here", Unicef executive director Henrietta Fore told AFP shortly after she flew into the devastated Mozambican port city of Beira from NY to assess the situation first hand.

"This failure, and its devastating impact can now increasingly be measured in the devastating consequences of cyclones such as Idai, and human devastation that it visits especially on the people of the more underdeveloped Southern Hemisphere".

Preliminary estimations indicated that more than 1000 people died in Mozambique alone, and that hundreds more died in neighbouring Zimbabwe and Malawi.

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On Friday, cases of cholera were recorded in Beira in central Mozambique.

Almost 90 000 Mozambicans have been moved into shelters, while thousands of others are still stranded in floodwaters. Beira, the port city home to more than 500,000 people that bore the brunt of the cyclone, has been cut off by road, causing shortages of food and water.

"We are living an unprecedented natural disaster".

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu visited Maputo on Saturday to have discussions with Nyusi on South Africa's humanitarian assistance for the victims.

"Unfortunately no one in the region and in the world could predict a disaster of this size", he said as the United Nations stepped up calls for aid for the ravaged and impoverished country.

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