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One of the worst disasters in the southern hemisphere

Last Thursday, the cyclone Idai started its destructive path through Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, and left behind a mess. According to official data, there

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One of the worst disasters in the southern hemisphere

Last Thursday, the cyclone Idai started its destructive path through Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, and left behind a mess. According to official data, there are up to now over 350 Dead, hundreds of thousands homeless and countless Missing. The three countries in southern Africa expect that the death figures are still growing massively, and probably only in a couple of months it will be clear how many victims there really are.

For the UN, it is now clear that it is a misfortune, one has rarely seen. "This could be one of the worst disasters in the southern hemisphere, which were caused by the weather," said a representative told the BBC. More than 2.6 million people were affected in total.

path of destruction: the cyclone Idai has developed since the 4. March. Map: Guardian

Mozambique, the start of heavy storms and rain had been suffering for month cases, as Idai was an ordinary storm. Even before the passage of the cyclone, at least 66 people lost their lives there. In neighbouring Malawi, there were at least 56 people, tens of thousands were left homeless.

Then Idai developed into a severe tropical storm, which began more and more to travel. On Thursday, 14. March, in the evening, he met in the vicinity of Moçambiques the second-largest city, Beira, with the full force of the country. The space Agency Nasa registered with your satellite wind speeds of up to 210 km/h, very heavy rain and Thunderstorms.

this is how it looked on 15. March: The cyclone from the point of view of a Nasa satellite. Image: Keystone

The city of Beira, which lies partly below sea level, was the largest flooded and partly destroyed. Many of the approximately 500'000 inhabitants are also just a week after the Arrival of the cyclone without electricity and a roof over your head.

Try to save what can still be saved: residents of Beira are on their ruined homes. Photo: Keystone

In the environs of the severe tropical storm has caused also landslides, storm surges and massive Flooding. Helpers, according to rivers have entered so dramatically on the shore, that "mile-long inland seas". Some places are, therefore, up to six meters under water.

thousands of buildings, including hospitals and schools, were destroyed, as well as countless roads, bridges, fields, and important phone lines. Also the phone network is largely paralyzed. Alone in Mozambique, an area was flooded with a diameter of hundreds of kilometers. Flights over the disaster area to show the extent of the destruction.

images of horror: The cyclone Idai a swath of devastation behind. Video: AFP/Tamedia

The Rescue operations were also slow. Many of the most affected areas are still cut off from the outside world. The helpers get difficult in high-water areas, because bridges collapsed and roads under water.

The military and aid agencies, therefore, try to rescue people from the air by helicopter. Many of those Affected fled to trees or roofs of houses, where they protrude from the water. There are other dangers lurking, such as by snakes, the rescue also to the Dry.

desperately Waiting for help: people of the river Umvumvu in Zimbabwe in front of a destroyed bridge. Picture: Reuters

in Addition, the spread of a disease threatens. "It's a big risk that it comes through the water to an outbreak of Cholera, Malaria or any other disease," warned an aid organization, told CNN.

The rescue of Survivors is more and more a race against time. Because many of them have not eaten for days or drunk anything – and the situation will relax according to the national meteorological Institute Moçambiques for the time being. Also, today, reign, therefore, with heavy rain, Thunderstorms and winds with Gale-force winds. Experts warn, given the continuing rain and rising river levels that could worsen the Situation further.

The filthy water hazards: children Wade carries through a flooded village in Mozambique. Image: Keystone

While the full extent of the disaster emerges, more and more questions emerge, whether the government can no longer do had of Moçambique, in order to protect the population. The country is always hit by hurricanes. The cyclone Favio, for example, had been damaged in 2007, around 130,000 homes and tens of thousands of people forced to flee. In the year 2000, nearly half a Million people were as a result of cyclone Eline homeless, approximately 700 died.

climate change will be Floods in the future even more frequently. "The atmosphere today contains more moisture because it is, on average, warmer. Therefore, it may lead to more heavy rains," said Corene Matyas, a researcher at the University of Florida, the magazine "National Geographic".

Moçambique belongs to a UN Index showed that of the ten poorest countries in the world. The government is likely to be unable to cope with the looming humanitarian crisis this Time. Numerous relief organizations to plan their operations to expand, and have called to donate.

*the Material of SDA

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 20.03.2019, 16:36 PM

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