Red Cross responds to devastating Cyclone Idai

Last week, Cyclone Idai made landfall in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. The powerful tropical storm has caused flooding and has damaged infrastructure, crops, and homes. The number of people who have been injured or killed as a result of the cyclone is not yet known.
damage from cyclone
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is on the ground, assessing the damage left by Idai. Canadian Jamie LeSueur is leading the Federation assessment team in Beria, Mozambique’s fourth largest city with a population of over 500,000, he said, “the situation is terrible. The scale of devastation is enormous. It seems that 90 per cent of the area is completely destroyed.”

Roads into Beira have been cut off by flooding, leaving the area isolated and the extent of the impact of Indai not yet clear.

“Almost everything is destroyed,” Jamie said, “communication lines have been completely cut and roads have been destroyed. Some affected communities are not accessible.”

Federation assessment teams are a part of how the Red Cross and Red Crescent responds to emergencies and disasters, they are made up of aid workers who are trained to take note of where help is most needed so that the most vulnerable are cared for. Because the flooding has cut off roads and closed the airport, Jamie and his team drove from the capital Maputo before completing their journey by helicopter.

Damage from cyclone
Pre-positioned relief items are being distributed as they are assessing the damage from Cyclone Idai, to know the needs  people impacted may now have. So far, the team has identified shelter, health and water, sanitation, and hygiene as priorities for this response. More heavy rains are expected, which could lead to further damage.

Canadians who are looking to help with urgent international aid can make a donation to the International Disaster Relief Fund.
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