Cyclone Idai: Death toll now 28, dozens still missing, homes destroyed, bad weather stalls rescue efforts

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By Staff Reporter

THE death toll from the devastating Cyclone Idai that battered Manicaland province since Friday has risen to 28, up from 23 reported earlier.

Massive desperation and destruction has also been reported as dozens are still missing, others marooned with more losing homes and property.

This is according to a late Saturday update by the Civil Protection Unit (CPU).

Manicaland Acting Provincial Administrator and CPU head Wilson Boore confirmed the latest developments from the eastern border city of Mutare.

Borerwe said Chimanimani and Chipinge districts were most affected by the disaster.

“I can confirm from the latest updated reports we have received, the death toll has risen to 28 from 23,” said Boore, adding that government and its partners were working round the clock to render assistance to the affected.

A total of 30 people are reported missing in Risutu, 40 in Chimanimani and one at St Charles Luwangu.

At St. Charles Luwangu, two students reportedly died after a rock fell from a mountain and destroyed a dining hall in which they were.

One person was injured while another person is reportedly missing.

He also said 13 miners from the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) in Mawenje areas, Chimanimani have also been marooned and were waiting for rescue from the Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ).

“The bridge close to Lydia Chimonyo high school in Nedziwa has been destroyed while 13 Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamonds Company (ZCDC) staff in Mawenje area have been marooned and awaiting rescue from army helicopters,” he said.

“We are making frantic efforts to assist marooned people by army helicopters but as of now, we are told the helicopters cannot fly because of the inhibitive weather conditions.”

Cyclone Idai hit Chimanimani district with heavy rainfall and violent winds Friday with approximately 600mm of rains received in the last 24 hours.

Areas affected include Chimanimani Urban, Charleshood Farm, Machongwe, Vhimba and Kopa growth point.

Nyahode River at Kopa business centre is reported to have burst its banks resulting in the flooding of Gata police camp and surrounding households.

Power has been disrupted and major bridges have been flooded, affecting areas such as Machongwe, Nhedziwa and Charleshood.

A total of 100 houses have collapsed while 40 people went missing in Ngangu Township Chimanimani.

“We have 23 people who have lost their lives in Chimanimani area,” said Boore.

In Chipinge rural, a total of 67 households have been damaged in Wards 1, 7, 8 and 13. Five people have been rendered homeless in these wards as well, while in Chipangayi Ward, 5 people have also been marooned by floods.

“In Mutare rural, a total 20 households have been damaged in Wards 22, 21, 15, 16 and 7 while 20 people have been rendered homeless.

“Rusitu Valley community, 30 people are missing while houses that have collapsed are yet to be confirmed.

In Mutare, ZETDC and Tel One infrastructure has been badly affected while Chipinge-Tanganda Bridge has been damaged.