Beira looks like a 'war zone' after cyclone Idai: rescue team

18 March 2019 - 08:22 By Nico Gous
Rain, believed to be the beginning of tropical cyclone Idai coming from central Mozambique, falls in the flooded districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje in southern Malawi on March 15 2019.
Rain, believed to be the beginning of tropical cyclone Idai coming from central Mozambique, falls in the flooded districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje in southern Malawi on March 15 2019.
Image: Amos Gumulira / AFP

Beira in Mozambique looks like a “war zone” in the aftermath of cyclone Idai, which claimed at least 100 lives.

That is what Dylan Meyrick from IPSS Medical Rescue wrote on Facebook on Sunday evening.

“Beira resembles a war zone! 100% of buildings in the city have been damaged and a huge number of those destroyed. The local population living in the rural areas have been hardest hit. Entire villages have been washed away. It has been humbling to see how these people have lost the very little that they had but are resilient and are determined to survive,” Meyrick said.

Update from Beira, as of 22h00 Sunday 17 March 2019 ‘I managed to beg a lift from the air force to Maputo tonight to...

Posted by IPSS Medical Rescue on Sunday, 17 March 2019

“There is no electricity and as a result infrequent water, no cellular service and no internet. The EN6 which is the only road in and out of Beira has been destroyed by flood waters about 70km from the city. This morning we estimated that up to 2,000 people need rescuing as the flood waters continue to rise.”

Cyclone Idai has wrecked havoc across Mozambique and Zimbabwe, leaving 400,000 people displaced.

Rescue teams have worked up to 18 hours a day, Meyrick said.

“It has been a life-changing experience for the members to have to decide who to rescue and who to leave behind. In a profession where they have to deal with situations on a daily basis that no person should, this is probably the most difficult that we have encountered.”

At least a hundred people have died and hundreds of thousands have been displaced in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique since cyclone Idai swept across the southern Afircan countries. With a state of emergency declared in Mozambique, and Zimbabwean military called in to assist- here's what we know so far...


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